The original item was published from March 28, 2016 10:40 AM to April 25, 2016 9:14 AM
March 24, 2016 Update
It is finished! The Senior Center at Snowden Grove will be open on April 1.
July 8, 2015 Update
The Board of Aldermen voted unanimously to award the construction bid to Jaycon Development Corporation in the amount of $1,820,000. Construction will begin within a few weeks with a projected completion date in early Summer of 2016.
July 7, 2015 Update
I am pleased to announce that acceptance of the lowest bid for the Senior Center @ Snowden Grove is on the agenda for tonight's meeting of the Mayor and Board of Aldermen. I hope and expect that our Board will vote to accept this bid which will allow construction to begin within weeks with a projected completion date in early Summer of 2016.
This is a long-awaited project for our City that has required many hours of discussion and deliberation by many people. I am very pleased with this solution as it accomplishes our goal of serving our seniors' needs in a manner that is very efficient with the City's tourism tax dollars. This project is completely funded by the "A Penny for Your Parks" tax and is a great example of the effective use of this restaurant tourism tax to improve the quality of life for our citizens.
December 16, 2014 Original Report
After extensive planning and budget considerations, the bidding process will begin for construction of a long-awaited senior citizens center for our City's Forever Young program.
To summarize the history of this project, a previous proposal was made by a previous administration to build a building on a lot that the City purchased on Getwell Rd just north of Fire Station #4. The total projected cost of this proposal was approximately $9 million. It is my understanding that the previous plan was to fund this expenditure by using the restaurant tourism tax revenue stream ("A Penny for Your Parks") to acquire a bond. After the Mississippi State Legislature voted to place a 3-year repealer on the tax, it hampered the City's ability to use this revenue stream for funding with responsible debt options.
To further clarify misinformation about this project, it is important to note that funds generated by the restaurant tax, which is 1% of expenditures at restaurants within the City limits, are mandated by law to be used only for Parks and Recreation or tourism. The use of this tax revenue was never limited to a senior citizens facility, nor is the tax paid by only senior citizens. It is also estimated that 60% of this revenue is generated by persons living outside the state of Mississippi.
Our current administration and Parks and Recreation Department has worked diligently for the last seventeen months to find a solution that is realistic and financially responsible. We believe we have done that with the current plan.
The plan, which will soon be displayed at the Forever Young area in the Parks building at Snowden Grove Park, is to amend the current space on the south side of the existing Parks building and use the existing 17,500 square feet for exclusive use for senior activities. This new Senior Center will have a large banquet room (6,288 square feet) which will be convertible to smaller meeting rooms; an exclusive entrance on the east side of the building; offices; conference room; kitchen; patio for outside activities; separate rooms for yoga and aerobics; and two designated lounge areas. The existing smaller rooms upstairs will remain available for card games and smaller group activities.
The projected cost of this project is $2 million with construction starting in May, 2015 and estimated completion in February, 2016.
Our seniors are important to us and our new Senior Center @ Snowden Grove is important to the development of our Forever Young program, and the improvement of our quality of life in our great city!