Originally Posted Online: March 03, 2010, 8:15 pm
Last Updated: March 04, 2010, 9:02 am

Silvis discusses use of McGehee Center

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By Seth Kabala, seth@sethkabala.com

SILVIS -- Alderman on Tuesday, after a long discussion on use of the city-owned McGehee Center for non-profit fundraising activities, referred the issue to the parks, buildings and grounds committee for further study.

Kathy Hall, president of the Silvis Garden Club, one of several people who showed up at the council meeting, said her organization has used the center for years without paying rent. She said no one has ever complained that the center was unavailable due to her organization's activities.

Ms. Hall said 95 percent of the garden club's proceeds go back to the city. She didn't think the garden club's activities, which include planting flowers outside city hall, qualified as commercial, she said.

Mayor Bill Fox said he didn't think the committee in place when the center was built in 1999 intended to ban non-profits from doing fundraising, but said the city couldn't let non-profit use get out of hand. Otherwise, the city would lose out on possible income from paying renters, said the mayor.

The parks, buildings, and grounds committee will discuss the issue at its meeting at 9 a.m. March 8.

In other business:

--The council approved paying $2,100 to Team Services for soil borings on 1st Avenue. City Engineer Roger Geiken said the borings are used to test the soil for the proper depth of footings for new street lights on 1st Avenueas well as aiding to determine the proper backfill for the piping for a storm sewer upgrade on 8th Street and 1st Avenue.

-- Approved a payment of $28,258.62 for paving work done by Walter D. Laud, Inc. at the Twin Oakes intersection, located at 1st Street and 17th Avenue.

-- Ald. Jim Cramblett, 3rd Ward, made a motion to approve hiring a new police officer to fill an existing vacancy, but did not receive a second, and the non-consent agenda item was not brought to council vote.