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Dust To Dust Council Probes Center Concerns
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The case of the dusty floor came before Riverbank City Council members the other night.

That's no laughing matter when it could cost almost $1000 per month to clean or force the senior citizens' dance club to leave town.

Riverbank city staff had accused the Golden Agers club of leaving the Community Center floor "excessively dusty" and suggested charging them $900 a month to clean it or close down their Wednesday morning dances, said club president Doreen Hall.

Hall and her supporters said $900 was far too high a fee for their club. They could not plan events until this was settled and they did not want to leave Riverbank because it is a good location and - so far, Hall noted -affordable.

The center had been built for community purposes like their dances, said another speaker, and the community had a right to use it. He felt the floor was too old and needed replacement. The center was built specifically for the seniors, added Councilmember Dave White.

"We support seniors. We admire your energy in going to dances. We have no intention of running you out of town," said Mayor Virginia Madueno, adding the council would formally put the issue on its agenda, hopefully for the next meeting.

The club has about 175 members, some 115 of them from Riverbank and the surrounding area and they do bring money into town, for example when some go out to lunch during the noon break, Hall added.

"This is shameful. I feel they are being shaken down," said resident Karen Myers, taking a turn at the podium.

"We should quit kicking old folks around," said another citizen Lee Ulloa, noting the city splurged $1,800 for the State of the City address (delivered at Galaxy Theatre).

Charlie King, a club member, said he'd talked to three contractors who said it could take three workers at a time to clean it, adding, "It's a tile floor. That's the problem."

Another speaker said a janitor told him that the cleaning staff used the wrong wax.

Hall added the club had been accused of putting down powder to avoid dancers slipping, but she strongly denied this.

The issue is expected to come before the council again, possibly with some additional recommendations for alleviating the situation or reaching some sort of agreement with the dance club.