By Marlana Ward
The Town of Mountain City Board of Mayor and Aldermen came together on May 15 to reconvene the meeting began on May 1. This meeting was a special session to make a final decision about the proposed youth center and property agreement as discussed in previous months. The councilmen in attendance, Jerry Jordan, Bud Crosswhite, and Bill Morrison, all voiced concern about the unforeseen costs which could be encountered given the state of the building currently on the property at 1123 South Shady Street. Due to the condition of the building, it was deemed uninsurable by the town’s insurance company and would need to be torn down. The board shared recollections of when the decision was made to take down the old Ramsey’s building on Main Street and the additional costs, which came about after asbestos was found and required proper disposal.
Alderman Crosswhite expressed that he was skeptical of a youth center being profitable for the city and his reluctance to have the town bound to the upkeep of an additional structure given the city’s current obligations to two parks, the pool, and other municipal properties. Vice Mayor Jordan offered a possible alternative to the property, which would allow Mayor Parsons to continue pursuing grants and potential funding for a youth center for the town while not requiring the city to purchase additional property. Jordan proposed that Parsons consider a parcel located next to the old Shouns School, which the city already owns as a possible site for the center.
While the property is not as large as the property first sought, it may be an acceptable size for a skating rink. The motion was made by Bob Morrison for the board to authorize the mayor to pursue grants and explore the possibility of locating a youth center at the location in Shouns. All in attendance approved the motion, and Mayor Parsons voiced his appreciation for Jordan seeking alternatives and his hopes that the center can be established for the youth of Mountain City.