Council cleans up language on community center resolution

By Per Peterson

The Tracy City Council on Monday showed its support for a new community center by passing a reworded resolution that stipulates the City moves ahead with a new building as long as it’s not funded by taxpayer dollars.

The resolution passed Monday also renews the City’s commitment of $139,000 in City funds for a new center and also shows the council’s support for the community’s efforts to raise funds. The council also directs the city administrator to work with community members on fundraising efforts and apply for grants.

Most of Monday’s discussion on the topic surrounded the wording of the proposed resolution, which included the word “private” for donations. The verbiage of the resolution was discussed at length during an Oct. 14 meeting of the Community Center Workforce Group, which consists of the council and five other members of the community.

CCWG member Shirley Anderson said the importance of the wording of the resolution should not be overlooked.

“If  you’re just saying ‘private donations,’ you’re not including corporations, other groups, churches, enterprises,” Anderson said. “We want it inclusive of everybody.”

Anderson said she wanted the resolution tabled until it can be brought in front of the whole CCWG, but that request ultimately failed.

Council member Jeri Schons said the resolution should relate that no taxpayer money will be used for a new building. Even the phrase “other sources,” she said, could be interpreted as tax dollars.

Tracy City Administrator Erik Hansen agreed and said the resolution should be designed to convey that the City is committing $139,000 to the project and that it expects the balance of the funds for a new center to be raised, either from private donations or grants.

The next meeting of the Community Center Workforce Group will take place at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 2. That is when the group will meet with a representative from Southwest Initiative to discuss possible financing plans for a new community center.

Other funding sources include money from the potential sale of the former liquor store building, as well as funds from the sale of O’Brien Court. If either of those buildings are sold, the council can redo the resolution in the future that would direct funds from those transactions.

“If we can sell O’Brien Court, you could potentially use some money for a community center; you would have complete discretion on that,” Hansen said. “I’m not saying that you would — that’s a question for city council.”

Schons made the motion to reword the four-part resolution, which now reads: 1. “The City Council supports the concept of building a new community center if sufficient donated funds can be raised;” 2. “The City Council renews its commitment of a maximum of $139,000 in City funds for a new community center;” 3. “The City Council supports the community effort to raise funds;” 4. “The City Council directs the City Administrator to work with community members on fundraising efforts and apply for grants.”

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