Despite the Dadeville City Council approving a recreation center rental two weeks ago for a meeting tonight, the council voted to keep the center closed at its Tuesday meeting.

The move left the Tallapoosa County Republican Party without a place to meet. The recreation center is the same facility normally used by the Dadeville Senior Program, which is closed under the state’s current COVID-19 guidelines. Program director Karen White said equality is the issue with the seniors.

“Here we are renting out the place to a group and telling (the seniors) they cannot come in,” White said. “We have people wanting to come in play Rook, cards and socialize.”

White said the nutrition program through the senior center is still operating.

“They can come to the door and get boxed meals every (weekday),” White said. “We do some curbside. The seniors are gathering in the parking lot and chatting there. They are lonely and this is the place for them to socialize.”

City attorney Robin Reynolds made recommendations to advise renters of the COVID-19 guidelines if the council chose to rent the facility.

“If the council is going to open the rec center, the guidelines should be posted and provided,” Reynolds said.

The council tabled two other requests for rentals including a gender reveal party with an estimate of 70 guests. The council also formalized keeping the recreation center closed for now.

“I make the motion to keep the rec center closed until we get further guidance,” councilmember Roy Mathis suggested.

The motion carried unanimously.

The Dadeville Recreation Center is the polling location for the Tuesday, July 14 Republican Primary Runoff election and will be the polling location for the Tuesday, Aug. 25 municipal election.

Mitzy and Rick Hidding offered their faculty at Zazu’s Verandah free of charge to the group. White said Carol Sellers who requested the recreation center also had First Baptist Church available to her.

Mayor Wayne Smith offered the option of opening city hall to the group.

Smith advised the council Kurt Pfitzner was trying to organize a farmers market at Pennington Park Pfitzner owns but opens up to the public. Smith said it looked like the market would run from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sundays starting on July 12.

Mathis asked about parking and Smith said parts of Spring and Cusseta streets could be used. Smith also said people could park downtown and he would look at the possibility of shuttling people to the market. Smith also mentioned the U.S. Post Office across the street from Pennington Park is closed on Sundays and might provide a parking solution.

Finally realizing the market was on Sunday, Mathis said no.

“I cannot support a farmers market on Sunday afternoon,” Mathis said. “Why can’t we do it on Saturday?”

Smith said the Saturday option was explored. Many of the vendors interested in the Dadeville farmers market are also vendors at the Alexander City farmers market on Saturday mornings and wanted Saturday afternoon to harvest more vegetables before committing to another market.

No formal resolution barring a Sunday farmers market was passed.

The council held a public hearing which the city is seeking a Community Block Development Grant (CBDG) from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA). Jason Harding with the East Alabama Planning Commission is helping Dadeville apply for funds to help with the resurfacing of Freeman Drive and the demolition of dilapidated structures. Harding said the paving project was estimated at $299,000 and the demolition project at $150,000. Harding said if the city were to receive the grant, it would need to provide matching funds of approximately $54,000. Harding and Reynolds said the list of structures to take down is still being developed.

“If a citizen has a structure they would like to see on the list, those can still be submitted,” Reynolds said. “Just get in contact with the city clerk or a councilmember.”

Dadeville police chief Jonathan Floyd said the department is still searching for patrol vehicles as it waits for new vehicles to be delivered.

“We are struggling and hunting for vehicles,” Floyd told the council. “We have a 2012 (Chevrolet) Tahoe with almost 200,000 miles on it and on its last leg. We just had to spend $2,000 on a 2010 Impala. Spending more doesn’t make sense but we had to do it. We have even taken back the 2007 Impala at city hall. We had retired it and had to bring it back.”

Floyd said the department had two new Tahoes ordered but a General Motors strike and COVID-19 issues have caused delays. Floyd had identified two used but fully equipped patrol cars at another department for a good deal but they were sold before he could present the council with the offer.

In other action the Dadeville City Council:

• Was notified qualifying for the Aug. 25 municipal election for mayor and councilmembers to all five council districts is July 7 to July 21

• Learned Mathis will not seek reelection as District 4 councilmember

• Approved minutes of the June 9 meeting

• Moved the second meeting in August to Monday, Aug. 24

• Was told a letter was sent to the owners of a nuisance property on McKelvey Street requesting them to clean up their property before the city takes action

• Recognized the Dadeville High School softball team

The next meeting of the Dadeville City Council is at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 14. A pre-council meeting is held at 5 p.m.

Cliff Williams is a staff writer for Tallapoosa Publishers.