White Hall Mayor Noel Foster won approval from the Advertising and Promotion Commission Tuesday to begin clearing the site for the municipality's proposed community center on city-owned tracts southeast of the intersection of Dollarway and Hoadley roads.
White Hall Mayor Noel Foster won approval from the Advertising and Promotion Commission Tuesday to begin clearing the site for the municipality’s proposed community center on city-owned tracts southeast of the intersection of Dollarway and Hoadley roads.
The clearing may generate some revenues from the sale of timber off the wooded tract, he added, but most importantly will allow a site survey necessary for planning and designing the building. He stated previously that he hopes to begin construction in 2013.
“We’ve been talking about it for years,” Foster reminded the commissioners. “It is not going to build itself.”
White Hall has more than $3.3 million reserved to build a center. Revenues from the 2 percent municipal tax on prepared foods and motels, which average $24,000 a month, will be used to construct and operate the facility, officials have stated.
A preliminary review of the results of a city-wide mail and online survey indicated residents want the center to include meeting rooms, a multi-purpose gym with a second floor walking track and “some type of aquatic feature,” Foster added. The decision on an indoor or outdoor pool or a splash park will be made later.
The commission indicated information obtained from the survey would be helpful in the design and construction of the center, noting the building might be built in phases. However, Foster said he “leans” toward building the center with some municipal financing because of existing low interest rates.
Monthly revenues could be used to retire any debt and pay for operational costs, he said. “We will still need some seasonal fees to cover operational costs of a pool, for example.”
Foster said the city is still months away from starting detailed planning for the center, but will need the site cleared for evaluation by engineers and architects.
He said he recently toured a municipal center at Arkadelphia and officials plan took at several others before moving ahead with design plans.