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Council may move chambers

By Staff | Nov 1, 2010

Shuffling City Council members to another room at the Community Center for monthly meetings isn’t sitting too well with some card players.

Wells Mayor Shannon Savick presented a petition with 40 signatures requesting there’s a permanent place for senior citizens to meet.

“I collected those names in a day and a half and would have gotten 70 if I worked at it longer,” says Savick.

City officials are toying with the idea of using a room next to the current Council Chambers so sound system equipment set up for meetings would not have to be taken down each time.

In September, the council approved spending around $1,000 for audio equipment to make it easier for those in the audience to hear what was being said.

Councilman Ron Gaines says no one on the council is trying to keep senior citizens from using the Community Center.

“First and foremost, we aren’t talking about kicking anyone outof here,” Gaines told council members.

Savick says survival of the Senior Dining and Meals on Wheels programs could very well depend on whether there’s a place for senior citizens to meet and play cards.

She says during the winter months an additional 60 to 80 meals are served at the center because of various card clubs. And, that generates at least $2,000 more in the revenue.

“There are some people that if they didn’t get a meal delivered to them, they wouldn’t be able to eat,” Savick says. “I think the council is putting the nutritional program at risk for their own convenience.”

The mayor reminded council members that a grant written to build the Community Center required the city have an activity center for senior citizens.

Savick says she is open to working on compromise to find a solution. She suggested a three-member committee be formed to study the issue.

Whatever is decided, City Administrator Jeremy Germann says the city must still be able to rent out the Community Center to groups willing to pay.

“I don’t want to turn down revenue for the city that help offset costs of running the center,” he says.

Gaines says it’s unbelievable the issue can’t be decided without having to form a committee.

The council appointed Savick, Germann and Gaines to serve the committee.

Savick says she wants the three to develop rules and guidelines for use of the center.

She says hopefully a proposal will be ready for council members to vote on at their next meeting.