Teen club aims to expand

MILFORD – It’s hard to get teenagers interested in a club called "boys and girls," and it’s even harder to keep them when there is no gym for them to play in.

"Teens are not staying with us," said Susan Tay­lor last week. The execu­tive director of the Boys and Girls Club is excited that the club was one of the projects targeted for help from the Community Development Finance Au­thority with investment tax credits.

The club is among 16 nonprofits that will get $5.5 million in tax credits over the next two years.

The organizations will sell the credits to com­panies, which in turn use them to get breaks, of about 75 percent, on New Hampshire’s business taxes.

The money going to the Milford club will help build another facility with a separate entrance for teens.

Because the the current teen space is in the mid­dle of the building, Taylor said, it’s difficult to keep it open on evenings or week­ends, because it means the entire building needs to be open.

The tax credit pro­gram was authorized by the state legislature and works like this: The non­profits sell the credits to companies, which in turn use them to get breaks on the state’s Business Prof­its Tax, Business Enter­prise Tax or Insurance Preimum Tax.

Instead of asking a com­pany to donate $10,000, for example, a nonprofit can sell the company $10,000 worth of credits, which will allow the business to save up to $7,500 on the state taxes. The nonprofit gets $8,000 of the money and $2,000 goes to the CDFA for operating ex­penses.

The club takes in kids from Milford, Amherst, Hollis, Brookline, Mont Vernon, Lyndeborough and Wilton, and its teen programs focus on middle school age teens, mostly with theater arts at the Amato Center. There are now 900 members, with about 190 attending each day, and about 317 mem­bers are 12 and older.

A new building will "round out our program," Taylor said.

Several years ago she attended a series of fo­rums about young people in Hollis and Brookline.

"We heard over and over that they need safe places to go, " she said.

The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Nashua also received $228, 125 in tax credits to buy three minibuses.

Other area projects that received awards in­clude MakeIt Labs in Nashua, with $312,500 in tax credits, the Fuel Her Fire program of the Girls, Inc. of New Hampshire, with $375,000, the YMCA of Greater Nashua, with $300,000.

The program had $14 million worth of requests. By state law, $5 million in tax credits may be award­ed each fiscal year, and a bill to increase that cap was tabled in March.

Among the 16 projects targeted for tax credits over the next two years are the Manchester YMCA , a bike path in Salem and the Castle in the Clouds estate in Moultonboro.