The Highland City Council waived $7,600 worth of fees to help the development of the new site for Relevant Pregnancy Options Center.
Relevant is a pro-life, not-for-profit organization that provides pregnancy and continual care options for couples experiencing unplanned pregnancy.
“We’ve helped people turn their lives around,” Tricia Blasdel, Relevant’s executive director, told the Highland City Council at its April 3 meeting. “We’ve put them back into the community. Would that happen without Relevant? I could not say.”
Blasdel asked the council to waive the building permit, sewer and water tap, and electric permit fees to assist Relevant with developing its new building, which will be located on Plaza Drive.
About a year ago, the organization started a plan to raise $350,000 to build a new facility, which was inspired by a drastic increase in clientele. However, the three-year plan became a mad dash for cash after the center was told it would need to relocate in just a few months, near the end of last year.
According to Blasdel, the organization operates solely off of donations and the goodwill of the community, which is why the organization asked the council to waive the fees.
“We get no government funding. Everything comes from within this community,” Blasdel said.
Recently, Pete and Jane Korte of Highland, owners of Korte & Luitjohan Contractors, donated two lots on Plaza Drive, north of the volleyball court at E.L. Flanagan’s, to house the new Relevant facility.
Relevant has also raised over $150,000 in donations for construction.
Some of the council members expressed reservations about the precedent that could be created by waiving the fees. But at the end of the discussion, the matter passed unanimously.
“I’m afraid that, without the pregnancy care center, we would have some issues and outcomes would not be as pleasant as they are now,” Mayor Joe Michaelis said during the discussion.
Until the new building is completed, Relevant will be located at the former Wallpapers Ready To Go-Custom Interiors location at 207 Suppiger Lane, Suite 100.