Commissioners approve funding for Gifford Community Center

Last Updated: Tuesday, 10:44 a.m.

GIFFORD – The Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved funding to upgrade the Gifford Community Center. The county will used portions of its one-cent sales tax and reserve funds to make more than $200,000 worth of improvements to the center.

“I really just want to say thank you,” said Gifford community leader Freddie Woolfork after commissioners voted in favor of funding the upgrades. Gifford community leaders have asked for the county’s help in fixing up the community center. In particular, the air conditioning system is more than 20 years old and the restrooms need remodeling.

To tackle the improvements, members of the Progressive Civic League of Gifford and county staff worked to prioritize the needs, splitting the project into three priority tiers.

The highest priority fixes is expected to cost the county more than $157,000 and include the air conditioning system, restroom renovations, repairing the interior’s drywall, fixing doors and hardware, and installing audio/visual equipment, among other fixes.

County Administrator Joe Baird reminded commissioners that the Gifford Community Center is more than 20 years old and has not had any renovations over the course of the last two decades.

“It is needed,” he said of the improvements proposed for the facility.

The second-level priorities include replacing kitchen cabinets, installing room dividers and replacing the center’s exterior sign. The fixes are expected to cost and estimated $17,000.

The last of the priorities, which are expected to be taken care in the years to come, includes the roof, flooring, kitchen equipment, furniture, and office equipment. A rough estimate puts the cost at $75,000.

The county had originally proposed a special tax to be assessed on property owners within the Gifford community to pay for the renovations. However, once commissioners evaluated what the anticipated tax would be, they chose to oppose the tax.

“I’m so happy to hear there is an alternative,” Woolfork said.

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