Dresden mayor says dialogue is important

Dresden mayor says dialogue is important

Dresden Mayor Danny Forrester said the issue involving a letter brought before the county’s Health, Education and Economic Development Committee recently regarding rental space at the city’s civic center was a total lack of communication between the county’s Office on Aging and the City of Dresden.
The letter in question, which was addressed to the Office on Aging director Gail Rogers from the City of Dresden gave notice to the senior center the auditorium needed to be activity free throughout the month of March as someone would be using the space to build two floats for the Tennessee Iris Festival.
Rogers presented the letter to HEED Committee members last week and explained the space constraints would impact senior activities and potential funding.
Forrester explained later the auditorium is not a part of the contract between the county and the City of Dresden.
According to the agreement drafted in 2009, the Weakley County Office on Aging rents five rooms at the Dresden Civic Center.
Those five rooms include an exercise room, half of the kitchen space, Roger’s office, her assistant’s office, a quilt room and a storage room.
The Dresden mayor said the auditorium is a space rented to anyone and everyone throughout the year and is not included in the contract.
“People have gotten married there. We have civic clubs that meet in that space and it is rented by other people in the community,” Forrester said.
Under the contract, the Weakley County Office on Aging has unrestricted access to the kitchen and restrooms during normal business hours from 7 a.m. until 4 p.m.
Forrester said the person working on the floats requested a heated space from the city and the civic center is the only building the city has for use with heat.
“I did not feel it would be proper to call Ms. Rogers at the end of February to let her know about this so we have given her an adequate 60-day notice,” Forrester added.
The City of Dresden provides and pays for utilities and upkeep at the civic center.
The mayor said the utility costs throughout 2011 prompted an increase in rent to the county from $5,000 a month to $6,500.
“We were losing money and going in the hole if we didn’t raise the rent. The only other option would be to raise property taxes and we didn’t want to do that. Last year the electric bill was $10,224 and the water bill was $1,100 that the city pays for,” the Dresden mayor said.
He said he was not invited to the HEED Committee meeting and added the issue was a total lack of communication between the Office on Aging and the City of Dresden.
“Dialogue is very important,” he said.

WCP 1.17.12

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