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County looks ahead despite economic climate

With contractors looking for work and the cost of renovation “potentially at an all-time low,” this may be the “perfect time” for Pulaski County to develop a Wellness/Fitness Center, according to county staff.
The need for jobs and lower costs are among several reasons Pulaski County staff cite for undertaking a renovation of the former TMD Friction plant despite a slow economy.
The county is considering turning the 140,000-square-foot former manufacturing facility into an indoor recreation center.
TMD shut down the Dublin plant and consolidated its operations with a plant in Mexico after the company filed bankruptcy. The Dublin facility is scheduled to go on the auction block in late January if it is not purchased prior to the auction date.
The Board of Supervisors will hold a public comment period to gauge community interest in the project during its monthly meeting Monday, Dec. 21 at 7 p.m. in the County Administration Building on Third Street in Pulaski.
In preparation for that meeting, county staff has developed a Powerpoint presentation providing an overview of the Wellness/Recreation Center concept. One aspect of that presentation addresses the question of why the county should consider such a facility “during seemingly tough economic times.”
That presentation notes that the county doesn’t need an indoor recreation facility “just because our neighboring communities have successful indoor recreation centers.”
On the contrary, it states that the need for such a center “is part of the vision for a continued success of Pulaski County.”
Staff points out that a survey of citizens conducted on an earlier date determined “a majority of citizens support this type of endeavor.”
The center would not only encourage growth and tourism, the presentation states, but also would support the county’s industrial growth.
“If economic conditions dramatically improve, we will have renovated a first class facility for a fraction of the cost, at more than twice the square footage,” county staff contends.
Furthermore, the presentation states that “the timing could prove to be EXTREMELY cost effective” and, thus, possibly eliminate the need for a loan or other long-term debt.
The presentation also suggests that turning a vacant manufacturing facility into a recreation center would be a boost to community morale by turning “a negative event (closure of TMD) into something positive for the benefit of all citizens.”
Staff adds that the facility would enhance the county’s ability to attract industries to adjacent vacant buildings in the industrial park and aid in the creation of new jobs.
The TMD facility is located in Pulaski County Corporate Center, near Pulaski County High School.
Finally, the presentation states that by addressing youth recreation, mentoring and senior fitness needs, “we can address future incarceration and social costs.”
The presentation includes a chart showing how much juvenile detention and jail costs have increased since 2000.
According to the chart, jail costs have more than doubled from about $672,000 in the 1999-2000 fiscal year to nearly $1.7 million during the 2008-09 fiscal year. During the same period, costs at the New River Valley Juvenile Detention Home have increased from just under $100,000 to over $185,000.

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County looks ahead despite economic climate

With contractors looking for work and the cost of renovation “potentially at an all-time low,” this may be the “perfect time” for Pulaski County to develop a Wellness/Fitness Center, according to county staff.
The need for jobs and lower costs are among several reasons Pulaski County staff cite for undertaking a renovation of the former TMD Friction plant despite a slow economy.
The county is considering turning the 140,000-square-foot former manufacturing facility into an indoor recreation center.
TMD shut down the Dublin plant and consolidated its operations with a plant in Mexico after the company filed bankruptcy. The Dublin facility is scheduled to go on the auction block in late January if it is not purchased prior to the auction date.
The Board of Supervisors will hold a public comment period to gauge community interest in the project during its monthly meeting Monday, Dec. 21 at 7 p.m. in the County Administration Building on Third Street in Pulaski.
In preparation for that meeting, county staff has developed a Powerpoint presentation providing an overview of the Wellness/Recreation Center concept. One aspect of that presentation addresses the question of why the county should consider such a facility “during seemingly tough economic times.”
That presentation notes that the county doesn’t need an indoor recreation facility “just because our neighboring communities have successful indoor recreation centers.”
On the contrary, it states that the need for such a center “is part of the vision for a continued success of Pulaski County.”
Staff points out that a survey of citizens conducted on an earlier date determined “a majority of citizens support this type of endeavor.”
The center would not only encourage growth and tourism, the presentation states, but also would support the county’s industrial growth.
“If economic conditions dramatically improve, we will have renovated a first class facility for a fraction of the cost, at more than twice the square footage,” county staff contends.
Furthermore, the presentation states that “the timing could prove to be EXTREMELY cost effective” and, thus, possibly eliminate the need for a loan or other long-term debt.
The presentation also suggests that turning a vacant manufacturing facility into a recreation center would be a boost to community morale by turning “a negative event (closure of TMD) into something positive for the benefit of all citizens.”
Staff adds that the facility would enhance the county’s ability to attract industries to adjacent vacant buildings in the industrial park and aid in the creation of new jobs.
The TMD facility is located in Pulaski County Corporate Center, near Pulaski County High School.
Finally, the presentation states that by addressing youth recreation, mentoring and senior fitness needs, “we can address future incarceration and social costs.”
The presentation includes a chart showing how much juvenile detention and jail costs have increased since 2000.
According to the chart, jail costs have more than doubled from about $672,000 in the 1999-2000 fiscal year to nearly $1.7 million during the 2008-09 fiscal year. During the same period, costs at the New River Valley Juvenile Detention Home have increased from just under $100,000 to over $185,000.

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