The City of Dupree has been offered the Mormon Church of Dupree so long as the city ensures it is not used for any salacious activities, such as alcohol sales, said Dupree City Financial Officer Maurice Lemke.
Bill Gaither, facilities manager for the church and Rapid City resident, presented the offer and Rick Foster, head of Missions in the United States and resident of Salt Lake City, confirmed the offer, although Lemke said the city has not yet received the paperwork outlining the transfer of ownership.
The city’s council members have discussed possible uses for the space.
Council representatives Unalee Howe and Jamie Pesicka, Lemke said, suggested the facility be used as a public health clinic.
County Assessor Clint Holmes suggested a daycare.
Lemke said the church is well-built and has a lot of storage space, nice pews, and one restroom.
Lemke, who lives next to the church, said he thinks it was actively used about five years ago, but he has not seen much activity there since.
Several people in the City of Dupree, private citizens and even city employees and Lemke have participated in helping to keep the church grounds manicured from time to time over the years Lemke said.
Lemke said that without the paperwork, the city cannot determine what the potential costs of owning the building will be, and since its use will change, he is not sure what, if any, taxes will need to be paid for it.
Chances are that it would lose its tax=exempt status if it is used as a daycare, Lemke suggested.
Gaither requested to be on the city’s November agenda in October, presented his proposal in November and the city and Mormon representative finalized the first stage of the donation in December.
In other city news, Lemke said that they bought a pick-up and the trailer they were hoping to get to haul trash to the dump, and are working on purchasing a sander.