Project Share

The nonprofit Project Share Thrift Store, shown here Friday, has been in the basement of the city-owned Keene Recreation Center on Washington Street for about 50 years.

The fate of a Keene thrift store that operates out of a public building will be up for discussion at a City Council committee meeting next week.

The council’s finance, organization and personnel committee is scheduled to discuss what’s next for the Project Share Thrift Store on Thursday, Aug. 29, Keene Mayor Kendall W. Lane said.

The committee meets at 6:30 p.m. in City Hall.

The nonprofit thrift store has been in the basement of the city-owned Keene Recreation Center on Washington Street for about five decades, according to Tammy Catozzi, who runs it. She said the organization uses its proceeds each year to give toys, clothes and other items to families in need.

The city has never had a formal agreement with the organization, and has not charged it for rent or utilities, City Manager Elizabeth A. Dragon said last week.

Dragon said that after learning about the arrangement, she sought to formalize the city’s relationship with Project Share through a lease — which tenants in other city-owned spaces have.

The city asked for $600 in monthly rent, which Dragon said would be lower than market rate but would offset the city’s operating costs for the space.

Project Share offered to pay a lower amount, which the city rejected, and so the organization informed the city it would leave the space Jan. 31.

People reacted strongly to news of the impending closure. A report in The Sentinel’s weekend edition drew more than 150 comments on Facebook in the past few days, and a Change.org petition to keep Project Share in the recreation center rent-free had about 50 signatures as of late Monday afternoon.