Land to build Utica youth center under contract

A new organization that is striving to erase the hopelessness that has befallen the once proud Utica Community near Seneca has announced a major accomplishment. At a luncheon meeting, Phillip Kalchthaler announced that 18 acres of land are under contract for a future youth center that will specialize in tutoring, mentoring, Bible study, life skills, and community outreach. The $62 thousand property is located on Utica Street, not far from Ames Street. Now the task ahead for those who want to help a community in need is to raise the money to own the property. Kalchthaler, along with Andy McKinney, supervisor of the local Department of Juvenile Justice, explained to the Seneca Rotarians today what Utica Incorporated is about. They belong to the organization’s board of directors which meets every third Tuesday at 6:30 pm at the Ann Hope United Methodist Church. Everyone interested in helping enhance the quality of life in Utica is welcome to attend and join one of the many committees that are forming. For much of the last 100 years, Utica was a prideful community—the home of a thriving textile plant, an elementary school, churches, and a community theatre. Of late, however, Utica is known as a place where police and fire departments often are called to investigate crimes, drug abuse, and abandoned house fires. The Rotary audience was reminded that there are children in Utica who are living in difficult situations and, in many cases, have little hope. That’s where churches such as Ann Hope are providing meals, counseling, and recreation. Utica Inc. hopes to spring board from that into a facility to offer programs that enrich lives and promote Christian values.