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Director may rethink requests

The director of the New River Valley Youth Center recently made several requests to the Pulaski Town Council but then withdrew them upon learning that acceptance could open the center to more than just youth.
Center director Sean O’Neal asked the Town Council to waive monthly water and sewer charges to the downtown center and to also allow the center to use the town’s trolley to transport youth.
However, Town Attorney David Warburton pointed out that doing so would mean the New River Valley Youth Center would have to follow the same non-discrimination guidelines the town must follow.
Therefore, the center’s practice of limiting the center to youth ages 11 to 19 and their accompanying parents or guardians would not be allowed.
“It’s an entanglement they may not want,” Warburton said of the Youth Center’s board of directors.
He said waiving the estimated $400 to $500 in annual water and sewer fees and donating the use of the trolley would essentially be the same as writing a check to the center for the equivalent amount.
Even though limiting the age of center attendants is for safety purposes and not for the purpose of discrimination in the sense the word is usually used, Warburton said using public taxpayer funds would require the center to be open to all of the public.
As an example, the town attorney said, the Pulaski Senior Center cannot “keep me out” (even though he isn’t a senior citizen) because the senior center receives public funds.
Given that, O’Neal said he may want to reconsider the requests.
The issues were tabled by the Pulaski Town Council to give O’Neal a chance to speak with the New River Valley Youth Center’s Board of Directors.
You may contact Melinda Williams at melinda@southwesttimes.com

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Director may rethink requests

The director of the New River Valley Youth Center recently made several requests to the Pulaski Town Council but then withdrew them upon learning that acceptance could open the center to more than just youth.
Center director Sean O’Neal asked the Town Council to waive monthly water and sewer charges to the downtown center and to also allow the center to use the town’s trolley to transport youth.
However, Town Attorney David Warburton pointed out that doing so would mean the New River Valley Youth Center would have to follow the same non-discrimination guidelines the town must follow.
Therefore, the center’s practice of limiting the center to youth ages 11 to 19 and their accompanying parents or guardians would not be allowed.
“It’s an entanglement they may not want,” Warburton said of the Youth Center’s board of directors.
He said waiving the estimated $400 to $500 in annual water and sewer fees and donating the use of the trolley would essentially be the same as writing a check to the center for the equivalent amount.
Even though limiting the age of center attendants is for safety purposes and not for the purpose of discrimination in the sense the word is usually used, Warburton said using public taxpayer funds would require the center to be open to all of the public.
As an example, the town attorney said, the Pulaski Senior Center cannot “keep me out” (even though he isn’t a senior citizen) because the senior center receives public funds.
Given that, O’Neal said he may want to reconsider the requests.
The issues were tabled by the Pulaski Town Council to give O’Neal a chance to speak with the New River Valley Youth Center’s Board of Directors.
You may contact Melinda Williams at melinda@southwesttimes.com

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