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Atwater considers replacing Girl Scout Hut

ATWATER -- City leaders will review their options to replace the razed Girl Scout Hut as pressure mounts from troops left without a place to meet.

A year after the city tore down the dilapidate Second Avenue hut, the Atwater council will hear an update about the quest to replace the building during its 6 p.m. meeting Monday.

The squatty hut, which dates back at least 50 years, was set to undergo renovations funded by the United Way and E&J Gallo Winery. The improvements included installing a new roof and buying new appliances.

Then city inspectors checked out the building, decided it wouldn't hold up and tore it down. The decision left about 12 troops homeless and four have closed because of the trouble of finding a place to hold meetings, group leader Joann Fastenau said. She thought a solution would have been found by now.

"Too many promises," she sighed. "It's just excuses, excuses.They should have just left it."

Atwater's leaders are waiting to hear from the state about a $1 million community block development grant that would be enough to construct a new building that could also be used as a meeting place by other community groups.

The money is highly competitive and while the city is hopeful, it's also remaining realistic.

If the grant doesn't work out, the City Council may rally community sponsors to give the scout troops a new home, Mayor Pro Tem Lesa Rasmussen said.

"I have really been pushing for what's our plan B," she said. "As far as I'm concerned it's taken way too long."

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