Applause filled the room at this week’s meeting of the Knox City Council, as they approved a motion to allow an exercise group to resume use of the community center at no charge.
The group had been using the Knox Community Center free of charge since 1998, but were recently asked to move operations to the Girl Scout Cabin in order to avoid paying a fee to use the center. Virginia Wireman-Duncan, the leader of the exercise group, said they felt they should be able to use the center free of charge because they did not charge any of their members any kind of fee in order to exercise with the group.
Councilman Don Kring made a suggestion to allow all no-charge exercise groups to use the center on Mondays and Wednesdays – the days this particular exercise group has met on since 1998 – free of charge. He said the only requirement would be that they do not charge their members any fee in order to use the center.
Wireman-Duncan argued that the group brought business to Knox. She says 30 – 40 people attend each session, and afterward, they visit local businesses to eat and shop. This business, she says, revitalizes the city in more ways than one.
A motion was made to allow the group and all other non-profit, no-charge exercise groups to meet on Mondays and Wednesdays at the center from 9 a.m. to noon. Mayor Rick Chambers will look into having a building-use policy created for the center, but the group will resume normal operations at the community center on Monday.
Wireman-Duncan said she had her concerns about the meeting, but overall, she was pleased with the council’s decision.
“I’m very happy with their decision,” said Wireman-Duncan. “I’ve been a little concerned whether it would be yes or no, but I think they have made an excellent choice because we do do a lot of things for the city of Knox and I feel like this is the best advertisement they have for downtown and we bring more things into Knox. So I’m very, very grateful for their considerations and what they are doing.”