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Mayor asks agency to lease building

Shirley Mayor Johnny Sowell has asked the Van Buren County Aging Program to consider taking over the city’s building that is used for senior citizens gatherings.

Sowell told the Shirley City Council at its Jan. 14 meeting that he had received a call from Penny Stringer, local director for the White River Area Agency on Aging, asking why lock boxes had been places over the thermostats in the Community Center and no Senior Citizens Center representative had been given a key.

Sowell told her the boxes were installed because the city had to make budget cuts and needed to save on electricity.

Stringer also said she had received complaints about the building not having heat in the bathrooms. Sowell said the building was constructed in the 1960s and there had never been heat in the bathrooms. He said he was not aware of any complaints.

Sowell said he suggested to Stringer that the Aging Program lease Shirley’s Community Center for $1 per year and the agency would then have authority over the building. He said the move would save the city $18,000 to $20,000 a year, allowing it to move the city offices. Stringer, Sowell said, told him she would take the request up with the program’s board of directors.

Councilwoman Brandy Kimmons then asked for a detailed report each month showing all city transactions. Clerk/Treasurer Melissa Worthing will provide that report in the future.

Also at the meeting:

* The council adopted Resolution 2013-01, supporting legislation to improve sales tax collection information from the Department of Finance and Administration.

* Van Buren County Justice of the Peace James Kirkendoll swore in the City Council members for the 2013-24 term.

The council’s next meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Feb. 11 at the Community Center. The meeting is open to the public.

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