Hayes Child Care Center to close

By Gus Bode

The City Council voted to stop funding the Eurma C. Hayes Child Care Center Tuesday after disputes over its fiscal practicality became too loud to ignore.

Mayor Brad Cole said the center has cost the city more than $1 million since its renovation five years ago.

Councilwoman Mary Pohlmann said all but 13 of the center’s children have been placed in other child care situations.


Councilman Steven Haynes was the only member to vote in favor of keeping the center open.

‘I am a success story from the center,’ he said.

The center will close its doors on August 18, a date coinciding with the beginning of an alternative Head Start program in which 12 of the 13 remaining children are enrolled.

In a report filed by City Manager Allen Gill’s office in June, it was found that the Eurma C. Hayes Center was no longer being utilized by families in the Northeast neighborhood of Carbondale, the center was benefiting 13 families living outside the city limits and it would require substantial allowances from the city’s General Fund even with staff salary reductions.

According to the same report, the facility’s enrollment numbers in the mid-1990s reached 150. In fiscal year 2009, the average daily attendance was around 47.

The Tuesday City Council and Liquor Control Commission meetings also addressed the next steps for several local city businesses including Fat Patties, Hangar 9 and Stix Bar and Billiards.

The council did not grant owner of Fat Patties restaurant and Commission member Lance Jack a class A1 liquor license to serve beer and wine with food, because of disputes over legality of a commission member’s eligibility to hold a license.


The decision came after the Local Liquor Commission denied the license in March of 2009 citing the best interest of the city. The State Liquor Commission overturned that ruling in April.

‘We’re going to continue to follow the proper legal channels,’ Jack said.

The Commission also approved the design plans for the reconstruction of Hangar 9 on The Strip.

Hangar will now offer a front-facing beer garden with an overhang. Concern was expressed over the design’s compliance with the city’s definition of an enclosed area that is relevant to the Smoke Free Illinois Act.

The bar has been closed since its roof collapsed in the January ice storm.

Greg Knoob, holder of Stix Bar and Billiards liquor license, was denied renewal of that license.’ He said he only requested renewal in order to transfer the license to the new owner.