The senior center was “able to receive additional funds from another entity to fulfill their needs,” city administrator Kyle Butterfield told the council during a meeting this week, so the organization “will not be using the $10,000 that was awarded to them.”
The council now has “a decision to make about how you want to utilize that now-unallocated $10,000,” Butterfield said, noting that there are “no restrictions” on the funds, which could be used to benefit another service entity, or to assist with municipal “operations, capital improvements (or) community improvements.”
Councilmember Kristy Salisbury offered several suggestions for use of the money, beginning with the development of the recreational facilities for pickleball and roller derby that were recently proposed by local residents.
“I think it would be nice to do something … for the community – (for) people to get excited about,” she said.
Public works director Brian Eggleston noted that he’s already spoken with R Recreation staff about “the process of putting a community meeting together” to discuss the pickleball and roller derby ideas, likely in the coming weeks.
“We’re getting some displays prepared right now,” he said, adding, “We want something that’s going to be a big splash … not just some sort of Band-aid approach. We want to look at it seriously and maybe secure some additional grant money to pursue a bigger project.”
Councilmember Mike Bailey said the city should wait to learn more about other potential sources of funding for the recreational facilities before spending the unallocated $10,000 on that project.
In the meantime, he offered another suggestion for use of the money: Eagles Hope Transitions.
The organization provides “a good service,” Bailey said, and they “help a lot of people get back on their feet in a positive way.”
“(It’s) far less fun,” he said, “but I know we ended up cutting back Eagles Hope considerably over what they had asked, and I know they are really struggling to keep that facility up and operating.
“Several of their other funding sources have dried up also.”
Mayor Tim Hancock agreed that Eagles Hope provides “a very important service” to the community and “could definitely use” the money.
He recommended the council “hold off on any decisions” about the $10,000 “for right now” so they can “see where things go” with the proposed recreational projects.
Salisbury’s other suggestion was to use some of the money to help purchase red flags in support of local Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons organizers.
For more information call the City of Riverton at 856-2227.