Moran City Council talks fitness center’s oversight



February 6, 2018 - 12:00 AM

MORAN — The inevitable growing pains associated with a successful fitness center came to light Monday in front of the Moran City Council.
Council members noted the city continues to oversee the day-to-day operations of 54 Fitness, at the intersection of U.S. 54 and U.S. 59.
The center opened its doors last spring, and has an enrollment of about 100 members, well above original projections.
But the increased demand means added time for city staffers doing such things as reviewing video surveillance if there are complaints or resetting the computer system controlling the electronic key fobs. City Clerk Lori Evans estimated she spends at least five hours a week dealing with such matters.
That the city continues to oversee day-to-day operations runs counter to their original plans.
Council members Bill Bigelow and Jerry Wallis both talked about the city’s assumption it would relinquish oversight to Moran PRIDE at the start of the year.
“It’s a great thing for the city,” Bigelow said. “I was just under the understanding this was not how it was going to work.”
The city continued oversight after it became apparent Moran PRIDE does not want the responsibility, Wallis added.
Damaris Kunkler of Thrive Allen County invited Council members to attend Moran PRIDE’s Feb. 15 meeting, to get both entities on the same page.
The city also collects monthly $10 dues for usage of the facility, with residents given the option of having a surcharge added to their monthly utility bills.
The city would continue to handle fee collections, if and when Moran PRIDE takes over the center.

IMPROPER equipment usage also was discussed.
A woman whose membership was suspended because of apparent damage sustained to an exercise bicycle by her daughter approached the Council members about regaining access. Her daughter also was on hand to apologize.
Video footages showed the daughter improperly pulling the bicycle onto its edge and dropping it back to the floor.
Council members agreed to renew the woman’s membership, provided she alone uses the equipment. Her daughter also agreed to assist with monthly clean-up responsibilities at the fitness center as part of 20 hours of community service. Once the service is complete, the daughter will be allowed access once again.
Evans then showed other footage of members using a weight bench as a stair-stepper apparatus.
Signs stressing proper usage of the equipment are posted throughout the building, but often are not read, Evans noted.
Council members also agreed to lock up an adjoining room — frequently used by members to rest up after a workout — because the room is blocked off from video cameras.

COUNCIL members voted, 3-0, to give residents in the Moran West 54 Water District a price break in paying for a massive water leak along their line.
The December leak spilled more than 135,000 gallons of water.
In such instances, Moran typically eschews giving a leak adjustment, where the city charges only the cost of the water, to districts, allowing the adjustment only for individual customers.
But the West 54 district has only four customers total, Mayor Phil Merkel noted.
The 3-0 vote did not include Councilmen Kris Smith, who abstained from voting because he lives in the district, and Chad Lawson, who was absent.

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