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TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 2007
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Trinity gives martial arts center a year at low rent

By Ronnie Thomas
rthomas@decaturdaily.com 340-2438

TRINITY — Two weeks ago, Trinity Town Councilman Bruce Sparkman told Ronnie Dugger he needed "a good show of support" from the community in his quest to keep rent low for The Rock martial arts center on Lile Street.

Dugger got it at Tuesday night's council meeting as about 60 people turned out, the majority saying they live in Trinity.

The group included elementary students with their par-ents, high school students and adults.

Sparkman recommended the council charge Dugger $300 per month to continue operating the martial arts center for one year in the former senior center and post office building, which the town owns and where Dugger's partner, Ricky Shelton, conducts classes. No one opposed Sparkman's motion.

When the year is up, the town will renegotiate the contract and consider what Sparkman terms "fair market value."

The martial arts center is a companion facility to Dugger's The Rock fitness center across the street in a former Piggly Wiggly grocery store. He leases that building from Ernest "Snookie" Kimbrell.

Dugger missed by only $25 getting a proposal he made the town recently for rent at the martial arts center.

He had been paying $250 per month and asked the council to let him operate for another year at $275 per month to "build the business."

The council had planned to double the rent to $500 per month on May 1.

"I'm overwhelmed at our support and the backing of the community," Dugger said after the meeting. "And I'm overwhelmed by what God's doing on this corner of Trinity. I was pleased with the negotiations and look forward to growth."

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