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Laurel City Council establishes youth services commission

The Laurel Boys and Girls Club is located at the Phelps Center, a 100-year-old building that was formerly Laurel High School.
The Laurel Boys and Girls Club is located at the Phelps Center, a 100-year-old building that was formerly Laurel High School. (File photo, Laurel Leader)

The Laurel City Council approved two separate pieces of legislation to create and fund the Youth Services Commission last week.

The commission was created out of the Laurel Boys and Girls Club Task Force, a special initiative created by Moe and the council to investigate the finances and operations of the club.

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The Laurel Boys and Girls Club came under scrutiny for alleged mismanagement of funds, including outstanding utilities bills, and for the poor physical condition of the Phelps Center, the building it owns and uses.

As part of its final report, the task force recommended the city set up a Youth Services Commission that would grant city funds to eligible youth groups to help them run programs and services.

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The commission will be seven members, all appointed by the mayor and confirmed by the Council. At least four of the members need to reside in the city, and at least two need to have a background in business. The members will not be paid for the posts.

Mayor Craig Moe said he has identified two people he is considering appointing as chair and vice-chair of the commission, and that once appointed he will consult with them on who to appoint to fill out the body. He said he hopes to use former task force members if they are willing.

"I want to look at some of the task force members to see if there is some interest," Moe said. "I want to get a good representation of the community as well, and those that have an understanding of what is needed and how the commission can assist."

The Council granted the commission initial funding of $75,000.

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