Committee rejects senior center move

DALLAS — The Urban Renewal District Advisory Committee rejected a proposal to move the planned new Dallas Senior Center to the former armory site in downtown Dallas.

Tuesday night, the committee voted to stay with the plans to build the center on the empty lot behind the Carnegie Building on Court Street.

Interim City Manager Greg Ellis said brought the proposal to the advisory committee, believing the armory site -- which the Dallas Urban Renewal District now owns -- would be a better location.

“I saw where the senior center was going to go over by the Carnegie Building, and it’s not an ideal location. I don’t think anybody thought it was,” Ellis said.

Ellis said he moved on the idea quickly because the project is already running late. Initial scheduling had it finishing next month. The project has not broken ground.

Ellis said the push to move the center began after the city received the deed on the armory site. He heard a suggestion that the location would be better for the new senior center.

“My bells went off, so I said let’s do that,” Ellis said. “Why can’t we change it?”

Ellis meet with the state — the project is being paid for through the Community Development Block Grant Program — to see if it’s possible to change the location. He found out it is, so long as the city can report the reason for moving and the benefit of changing locations.

Becky Baxter, CDBG Program and Policy Coordinator for Business Oregon, warned Ellis that the project has been delayed already.

“She says, 'you’re seen as kind of slow project at this point, so we have to put you on a plan to get this done,'” Ellis said. “Therefore, I’m trying to expedite all of this. It’s not easy on anybody and I hate to do it, but I need to get this done, if it’s going to happen.”

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