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Trinity council wants to raise rent at old post office building

By Ronnie Thomas 340-2438

TRINITY — A client of both The Rock fitness center and its companion martial arts center on Lile Street pleaded in vain before the Trinity Town Council on Monday to keep the rent in the latter at $250 a month until Jan. 1.

City officials want to raise the rent to $500 starting May 1.

Brenda Freeman of Decatur asked the council to give operator Ronnie Dugger of Trinity more time to solidify the business in the former post office building and senior center, which the town owns.

After the meeting, Dugger said the building consists of more than 2,000 square feet. He said he pays Ernest "Snookie" Kimbrell $550 per month for the lease of The Rock, the former Piggly Wiggly across the street, which is 4,200 square feet.

"We're in our fourth year there," Dugger said. "When we started out, we paid only $400 per month. We began paying more recently."

Town Attorney Larry Madison said the town could not subsidize or foster a private business and that the town has to set a fair rental value. Councilman Bruce Sparkman said the council must account to taxpayers.

Goodwin said the council let Dugger use the building for one year free of charge, except for utilities and upkeep, when the seniors still used it part of the time.

Dugger said he did not ask Freeman to speak on his behalf.

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