Dusty dance floor before Riverbank city council

RIVERBANK -- There could be a dust-up tonight at City Hall when the Riverbank Golden Agers square off against the city in a dispute over who is leaving dust on the dance floor.

More than three dozen members of the senior group showed up at the April 12 council meeting to complain of what they said was a city proposal to charge them $900 a month for cleaning and waxing the floor at the city's aging Community Center.

City officials said the floor often is dusty after the Golden Agers' Wednesday dances -- which draw more than 100 dancers -- and the problem has persisted for years. Officials believe some dancers are putting dust on the floor to help them dance.

"Over the years, maintenance staff has brought in large bags and even boxes of this dust and have complained that the dust is both a problem for maintenance as well as a possible slip hazard," reads a staff report for tonight's meeting.

The Golden Agers denied putting dust on the floor and said other senior centers in the county don't have a problem with dust when they dance.

But the city staff report includes a letter from the Golden Agers president "from a year a two ago" in which she asks members not to put dance dust, powder, corn starch and wax on the floor because of complaints from Riverbank, Oakdale and Modesto.

"Oakdale has issued us warning that they will not tolerate it and we will be shut down there if it happens again," according to the letter.

Riverbank officials also say the dust problem does not occur when other large groups use the community center, such as wedding receptions and anniversary parties.

City officials have come up with six solutions for the City Council to consider:

• Move the senior dances to another location if the dust continues. A three-month notice would be given to ease the transition.

• Continue as is and not worry about the dust. Wax the floor every three months.

• Continue as is but do not wax the floor because of the high cost. Officials says it costs Riverbank $400 in materials and $500 in staff time to wax the floor.

• Install a dance floor at a cost of $22,000

• Don't do anything until the city has the money to run all tests on the dust. The city has sent the dust for testing to rule out asbestos.

• Contract out the service to keep the floor waxed monthly at a cost of $650.

The City Council meeting starts at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers, 6707 Third St., Riverbank.

Bee staff writer Kevin Valine can be reached at or 578-2316.