Mineral County brainstorms ideas for community center

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MINERAL COUNTY Commissioner Roman Zylawy, Superior Schools Superintendent Scott Kinney and Mineral County Health Department Coordinator Monte Turner lead discussions for a community center on Thursday, May 9. (Maggie Dresser/Mineral Independent)

After a survey conducted by the Mineral County Health Department showed that the number one desire for the county was a community center, officials began discussing the idea of building one. Mineral County officials met in the packed Senior Center in Superior on Thursday, May 9 to brainstorm ideas to build a community center. Superior Schools Superintendent Scott Kinney originally came up with the idea because he wants to relocate the wrestlers to different area to practice, but he has nowhere to send them. They currently train in the multi-purpose room where there is stage and sound equipment. “It truly is a multipurpose room,” Kinney said. He says the room gets beat up from the wrestlers and would like to see a new facility for the wrestlers and to also be used for the community. This triggered conversations with County Commissioner Roman Zylawy, who also believes the county should create a new, multiuse facility or a community center. The current 4H building, or Quonset hut, has seen a crumbling roof, plumbing and structural issues since its erection more than 60 years ago. “You just about have to turn sideways to get in the bathroom,” District Ranger Carole Johnson said. 4H activities could relocate to a new building, which could also be used for shooting sports, a performing arts center and a senior center. “The current building gets used almost every day,” Johnson said. It is already used for family reunions, receptions and 4H activities, however the Quonset hut has seen better days. Jim Goss, who represents several Mineral County nonprofits would like to see a new facility to host Mineral County Performing Arts Council (MCPAC) concerts. The LDS Church currently hosts concerts for MCPAC, but Goss would like to see a separate venue. Goss would also like to see the current Senior Center relocated to the potential community center. “The facility is showing its age and the kitchen is way too small,” Goss said. A commercial kitchen and larger space would better accommodate the county’s aging population. Goss says senior centers are compelling to grants and could help with applications. But none of this can happen without funding. That’s why Zylawy has researched the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), a program that provides communities with affordable housing and community development.

The grant is estimated on a formula basis. “With our economics and median income and poverty rate, we could probably get one,” Zylawy said. However, St. Regis is currently using that same grant for a new roof at the school, and another CDBG grant cannot be given while there’s already an ongoing grant. This means a new public facilities grant couldn’t be implemented until January 2021, if it were accepted.

This however is only an idea for funding, and the location, type of funding and size of the potential community center remain a mystery.

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