2nd floor out, $144K in for possible new center

After okaying the sale of the Multi-Purpose Center to make way for a downtown cafe, the Tracy City Council on Monday pledged to reserve just over $144,000 toward some type of facility that would not only replace the MPC as a place for seniors to gather, but could also serve as a gathering place for the community at large.

The council voted unanimously to approve the sale of the Multi-Purpose Center on 3rd St. on a contract for deed basis for $53,700, which is based on the current estimated market value from the Lyon County Assessor’s office.

The council also pulled back on any efforts to move seniors to the second floor of the Veterans Memorial Center — an option that didn’t go over well with the community.

“I think we all heard loud and clear at the last meeting the concerns about moving them to the upstairs,” said council member Jeri Schons. “I think it slapped us all in the face that we needed to slow down, reconsider this, not to be in such a rush. I think we all after that meeting just looked at each other and said, ‘We needed this.’”

Tracy resident Ken Witt said any new facility doesn’t have to be limited in what it can offer.

“I think you can see that this new facility doesn’t only have to be a place to play cards,” said Witt. “I think that’s important. If we do a community center — I know that might be more costly than some of the other choices — and include other activities and events that people could warm up to, we’re going to improve the traffic in downtown Tracy. I think that’s what promoting Tracy is all about.”

Witt was one of a number of Tracy residents to speak out Monday about the need to take care of the town’s seniors, as well as drop any pursuit of a second floor option. Some offered up ideas for a new place in town for the seniors and the community, including the liquor store and the open area on the south side of the VMC building.

Gayle Whiting, who stated her support for the Plaid Moose coming to town, said she is in favor of the latter — tying a new center into the VMC. That option, she said, will be more cost-effective for the City and there would be less financial burden on the taxpayers than a brand new building would have.

“Maybe there are some people in town that are willing to put money into a building, that’s great, but I wouldn’t go there first if you want to get people to buy into this idea,” Whiting said. “I would suggest we look at adding onto (the VMC), or revamping it, but staying in this place. When I see a new facility, I’m seeing big bucks.”

Tracy resident Shirley Anderson urged the council to wait to sell the MPC building until either a new community center is built or seniors are guaranteed someplace to go.

“There are some in the community who are saying not to sell the Multi-Purpose Center at all, but to honor your obligation that a previous city council made in 1979 — and upkeep and maintenance was in that agreement,” she said. “This was supposed to be a win-win, for LSS, the City and the citizens. People are going to miss going there. We need that building. You can always sell it later, once we have a place to go.”

See this week’s Headlight Herald for more on this article.