The City of Leeds is faced with losing its senior citizen’s center. 
At Monday night’s council meeting Mayor Eric Patterson asked the city council if they were able to secure a committee dedicated to spreading the word in order to raise attendance at the Leeds senior center.
Council members Kenneth Washington, Ross Bartee, Susan Carswell, Charlotte Earnest and Johnny Kile received interest from concerned citizens, but the official committee has not yet been formed.
“Leeds has one of the oldest senior programs,” said Patterson. This city’s in jeopardy of losing this program and if we lose it, it will never come back.”
Offering meals for $1.50 per meal, per day, the Leeds Senior Center provides those 60-years-old and over to enjoy fellowshipping through participating in games, day trips and group exercise.
“Food program numbers are up,” said senior center attendee and Leeds Jane Culbreth Library Director Mondretta Williams. “But overall, the program needs an average of 25 people everyday.”
Agreeing with Williams, Patterson emphasized the importance of strengthening the program’s numbers.
“We need to let people know about our senior center,” Patterson said.
Other topics discussed:
* Leeds Police Chief Byron Jackson asked the mayor and council to consider approving an offer by Lehigh Cement Company to temporarily allow the Leeds Police Department (LPD) access to its quarry as a shooting range.
Keeping public safety issues in mind, LPD would work out what time and days the gun firing would occur. 
“Leeds has never had a range,” said Jackson. “We have to borrow from St. Clair County, Pell City or Trussville to use their ranges.”
Jackson told the council Lehigh has done this in other places where they are located and described the area that would be used.
“The top of Shell Road has not been used in about 50 years. The area has already been cleaned up in anticipation of this,” Jackson said.
Jackson has also secured a building from the Army for classroom usage as well as another building to use as storage.
“Having our own range would allow us to cut down on travel time and allow us to use it when we need to,” said Jackson. 
Addressing noise ordinance issues, Jackson said they would not shoot before 8 a.m. or after 7 p.m.
City attorney Emily Bonds said this is a great thing for LPD.
“Lehigh is offering a license to use the land, not a lease,” said Bonds. “This is a really good agreement for the city.”
The license would be offered to LPD three years at a time.
Concerns from the council came from Kile who thought it would be better to go long term and perhaps build their own shooting range.
Jackson said he was trying to look for the most affordable way possible.
Washington was concerned with the fact that you cannot discharge firearms within Leeds city limits.
He wanted to know if Lehigh was willing to change that zoning.
“We need the law or ordinance to be cleaned up first before this is passed,” said Washington.
Although the license agreement was approved five to one, it does not green light that this is a done deal, it allows Jackson to proceed to the next step in the process with Lehigh.
* Councilwoman Carswell asked citizens and her fellow council to pass a resolution in order to keep Camp Coleman from closing.
The regional Girl Scouts board wants to sell the camp because they say the space isn’t being used, but it’s reported that 900 campers are there this summer.
“I ask the council to consider keeping this camp open because it is a valuable asset to the young women or our community,” said Carswell. 
The council unanimously voted to keep the camp, so a resolution will be drafted to send to the Girl Scouts regional board.
* Leeds Jane Culbreth Library director Mondretta Williams addressed the council and its meeting attendees asking that they “like” their Facebook page.
“Please go to www.facebook.com/leedsjaneculbrethlibrary because we need more people to like us on Facebook,” said Williams.
The next Leeds City Council meeting is scheduled for Monday, July 30 at 6 p.m. at Leeds Civic Center located at 100 Park Drive. 
 

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