City working to keep community center open

City working to keep community center open

DYESS, AR - City leaders in Dyess want to spruce up their community center.

Mayor Ken Gillmore said they're struggling with finding the funding to renovate their community center.

Gillmore said their community center is not in good shape.

The building's roof is damaged and leaks.

Gillmore said they were able to get $5,000 to patch the roof, but are currently seeking funding to do full repairs to the center.

The city applied for three grants but was turned down due to low population.

Gillmore said they formed a community center committee to help raise funds to keep the facility opened.

"They have paid all the utilities and upkeep out of their own fundraising events that they do," he said. "Whether it's a fish-fry or whether it's an auction or something that they do... the city council made the determination if we could not find a way for the community center to be self-sustaining we could not continue to go into a hole of keeping one building opened."

Gillmore said the facility has become a vital part of their community.

The city also uses the community center for an emergency shelter.

The mayor said their long-term goal is to make their facility more user-friendly.

"When we do big events and tourism, the community center caters them a meal, and also has a band that entertains them," Gillmore said. "That is a money making event for the community center, but it's also something that the entire community gets involved in. There are people that would come up and help and donate their time for different tour groups that are coming through. So, the long-term goal is to turn it into a facility that's much more than just a tourism. It's something that we can offer a benefit to the entire community."

Gillmore said their goal is to find a grant by the end of the year to fix the building's roof, and then they will plan to move forward on renovations.

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