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Trinity council set to reconsider martial arts center rent in April

By Ronnie Thomas 340-2438

TRINITY — The Trinity Town Council will reconsider the rent for the martial arts center in the old post office building on Lyle Street at its April 9 meeting.

Whether the council gives owner Ronnie Dugger the break he wants might depend on how many Trinity residents he gets to the meeting voicing support or calling Town Hall, leaving names and addresses.

In a bargaining chip, Dugger asked the council to increase the rent from $250 per month plus utilities to $275 per month plus utilities for one year and renegotiate April 1, 2008.

He said that would give him and martial arts director Ricky Shelton time to build the business. The council on March 12 increased the rent to $500 per month, effective May 1.

Councilman Bruce Sparkman told Dugger, who also operates The Rock fitness center across the street, that an overwhelming number of supporters who live in town need to come and show support.

"We are accountable to our citizens," he said.

Several from Trinity and Decatur spoke on behalf of Dugger, saying the work he does and the values he espouses are key.

"It's really a ministry," said Lendon Haggard of Trinity.

One person spoke in opposition. Jane Lindsey, former secretary of the senior center when it occupied the old post office from August 1998 to June 2006, said the town should not subsidize a private business and offer rent that is not fair market value.

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