During Monday night’s Dresden Board meeting, Mayor Jeff Washburn remarked on several statements published recently in the Weakley County Press, which were based on a list of issues provided by the Weakley County Office on Aging, to the Weakley County Health, Education and Economic Development (HEED) Committee concerning the facilities at the Harmon & Lucille McWherter Civic Center, where the Dresden Senior Citizen Center is housed.
The Office on Aging leases office and storage space and also utilizes the kitchen area, a recreation/exercise room, and the large auditorium as part of a common use area with the City of Dresden.
Mayor Washburn addressed each of the alleged deficiencies concerning the facility that were listed in the article point-by-point to show that the complaints were unfounded.
Mayor Washburn stated he and other city officials inspected the building about a week after the article was published. In addition to the mayor, those participating in the building inspection were City Recorder Jennifer Branscum; Public Works Director Kerry Cooper; and Parks & Recreation Director Joey Winstead, who also serves as supervisor of the Civic Center building.
Washburn said that he was unaware of any of the items on the list prior to the publication in the newspaper and that city hall had been told that the County Mayor likewise had not been made aware of the issues on the list prior to them being brought up in the HEED Committee meeting.
The Mayor told aldermen that he is supportive of the proposal to build a separate county building that would have a dual use as a safe house and also serve as office space for the Office on Aging and Veterans Affairs. However, he said he doesn’t understand why it was necessary to negatively run down the city’s building to try to build support for the proposed new building. He noted that in the past four years that he has been mayor, the city has expended close to $50,000 making improvements to the Civic Center and more improvements are planned in the future. He further pointed out that over a quarter million dollars has been spent to improve the building since it was acquired from the state many years ago.
(See complete story in the March 6th issue of the Dresden Enterprise.)