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Bond money under fire by council

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The Ellis County Press

WAXAHACHIE - Much debate swarmed over spending left over bond money to repair the Civic Center, which opened in 2000.

The money in question was stemming from bonds for the Waxahachie Community Development Corporation, to repair the Sports Complex and the Civic Center’s leaky roof and A/C unit, with $2 million remaining.

"I hate to use this phrase, but it’s almost like this is ‘funny money’ is what it seems," said Councilmember Mark Singleton.

Lou Bryant, director of the Civic Center, approached the council to spend $180,000 on improvements Monday, June 21 during a regular scheduled council meeting.

"The carpet has rips and tears in several of the meeting rooms and the wall paper in the A&B meeting rooms are stretching since they are fabric," said Bryant.

"There has also been a crack in the floor for nine years in the foyer."

Councilman John Wray expressed there shouldn’t be money spent unless it’s in dire need because the city is still in debt over a new center that’s only 10 years old.

"This is just my opinion but, I am at the center nearly every week for something and I haven’t noticed a thing, I’m not ‘wow, look at that chip in the door,’" said Wray.

"There needs to be some priority taking place, a fund set aside for maintenance needs to be worked on, these are all upkeep with a building issues."

Bryant reported the structure of the building is fine but the concrete will continue to move as it rains causing more wear and tear to the already noticeable cracks.

"We live in an area that shifts, like John [Wray], I haven’t noticed that crack but neither here nor there ,we need to make a decision on if we want to go forward with what the 4B board approved," said Mayor Buck Jordan.

"There have been several citizens complaining about having trouble finding the building, it would be of better use to work on that issue and to help drive more people to the center to pay off debt owed quicker in my opinion," said Wray.

Singleton made a motion to accept the 4B presentation, hoping to work on building the center into a revenue generator for the city. The motion was approved by a 3-2 vote.

Councilman Kevin Strength and John Wray voted against.

In other news, the council unanimously approved the changed board member agreement allowing for non-Waxahachie residents to be appointed to various boards and commissions throughout the city.

"It is with great pleasure I withdraw my name from the airport board applicants and strongly endorse Paula Baucum," said Brian Garlitz, resident of Waxa-hachie vying for board chair against David Ross.

Baucum was unanimously re-elected to the board for another three years.

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