Spring Valley council hears youth center proposal

Organizers request use of Spring Valley City Hall temporarily to get project off the ground

Five candidates are vying for the opportunity to work at Spring Valley City Hall (seen here) as its next mayor.

Monday’s Spring Valley City Council meeting began with an emotional plea for help, as organizers look to get a proposed youth center off the ground.

Laura Dubberstine addressed the council, recalling a desire to affect greater impact on local youth after the death of Spring Valley teenager Diamond Bradley, who was murdered by an acquaintance in 2018. Dubberstine indicated the proposed youth center follows the model of the Second Story Teen Center in Princeton, which has recorded a decrease in the local youth crime rate in its 12-year history.

Also on hand to speak on behalf of the project was Danielle Wildhart, a youth minister with 15 years experience, who shared a vision for a structured, scheduled curriculum with emphasis on healthy social interaction as well as civic involvement.

The proposal requests the use of the Spring Valley City Hall basement as a temporary space for the youth center, which aims to start by opening from 4 to 7 p.m. Sundays on a three-month trial basis while work goes on to secure a permanent site. The council will consider the proposal at a future meeting.

Mayor Melanie Malooley Thompson issued a proclamation declaring Apr. 7 as Junior Achievement Day, while also proclaiming April as Fair Housing Month and May as Motorcycle Awareness Month.

Other business items approved Monday:

  • The addition of part-time day staff at the Spring Valley Fire Department on Saturdays and Sundays
  • Repairs to the blower unit and replacement parts for the ultraviolet disinfection system at the city’s Wastewater Treatment Plant
  • The appointment of an additional full-time police officer, as recommended by the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners

The council’s next regular meeting is set for Monday, March 21.