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Senior center director Melissa Lance approached the Southwest City Board of Alderman to discuss the future of the facility during the rescheduled meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 3.

The center provides hot meals and social interaction to area seniors but does not generate revenue to support the services it provides.

In previous meetings, the council discussed alternative funding such as a sales tax or a grant; unfortunately, both of these avenues are difficult to secure if the city does not own the building. The building belongs to the Commercial Club, which allows the city to utilize the building so long as the city maintains the building and makes necessary repairs.

"Everyone sitting here wants to keep the center open," Alderman Craig Martin said, "but we're getting to the point that we can't fund it for much longer."

Lark Hallum asked about the center's budget and requested a financial breakdown. City clerk Missy Zinn said the center's expenses each year total $40,000, with salary and repairs being the largest costs.

Patty Burrow asked, if volunteers stepped up to operate the center, would the city fund remaining expenses?

Alderman Martin reiterated that the city should own the building if it is going to solely maintain it.

Alderman Judith Pendergraft asked Zinn to invite the Commercial Club to the next council meeting in order to get input from the club members.

New Business

Gabriel Hernandez spoke to the council about placing two small cabins on his vacant property at 391 Bluebird Lane. Hernandez said the cabins are 12 feet by 32 feet and he would like to place one for his mother and another for his son. Mayor Blake informed Hernandez of the city's 1,000-square-foot minimum requirement for homes in the city.

"We have no ordinances regarding "mini-homes," but we need to bring it before the Planning and Zoning Committee for consideration," Blake said.

Jorge Brabo spoke to the council about placing a brand new, modular home on his family's property at 212 W. Comanche Street. Brabo said the home is 32 feet by 60 feet and provided the council with a sketch of the property and home. The council approved placing the modular home, noting that the home will need further inspection upon placement.

The council then went into a closed session. During the session, police chief Bud Gow explained police department procedures, Jason Larimore received a $2 per hour raise at the suggestion of public works director Shane Clark, and Lois Frye was hired as contract labor at $10 per hour to help familiarize Clerk Zinn with Summit accounting software.

Departmental Reports

Mayor Blake complimented Liberty Utilities for its quick restoration of power during the most recent wind storm.

Fire chief Shane Clark reported, since the last meeting, the department has responded to six medical calls, cleared five downed power lines, removed 15 trees from the roadway and checked one gas leak. He noted $1,430.62 was collected during the annual Muscular Dystrophy Association Fill the Boot Drive.

Public works director Shane Clark reported, since the last meeting, the street department has been busy clearing brush and downed trees. It has also replaced three stop signs.

Clark said the water department just barely scraped through the power outage without depleting the city's water reserves. He said the department has conducted four emergency locates for the electric company and installed a new access hatch at the clear well. Two companies have reviewed the Broadway tower regarding repairs. Clark said engineers suggest the city "keep limping the tower along."

Clark said the backup generator kept the wastewater treatment plant operating during the power outage. He also noted that sludge needs to be hauled from the plant within the month.

Police chief Bud Gow reported, since the last meeting, the department has issued five tickets, assisted two agencies, taken two reports and made one arrest. Gow informed the council that the department was awarded a free side-by-side through a Department of Defense grant. He said it is a six-wheel, four-wheel drive, utility task vehicle valued at $10,000. Gow said he will work on arranging the UTVs pick-up from Fort Riley, Kan.

On ball program director Bobby Wolfe's behalf, city clerk Missy Zinn asked the council if Wolfe could host a ball tournament at Blankenship Park on Saturday, Sept. 28, to raise funds for a family member's medical costs. The council voted to approve Wolfe's use of the ball fields on Sept. 28.

Zinn said the city needs to allow Pineville access to the bank accounts related to municipal court by adding Pineville to the Court Account, closing the Judicial Training Fund account, cashing the check for the JTF account and giving the funds to Pineville to be used for Judge Erin Willis' training in the future. The council voted to approve these measures.

In other business, the council:

• Reviewed responses to the city's request for engineer qualifications regarding the water system. Members asked to have representatives from Anderson Engineering at the next meeting.

General News on 09/12/2019

Print Headline: Southwest City Discusses Future Of Senior Center

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