Use of this Spruce Street building was discussed Tuesday during a Houston City Council meeting.

The Houston City Council on Tuesday gave approval for a feasibility study to transform a vacant downtown Houston building into an education center to further educational opportunities in Houston.

The council okayed a $3,750 fee to study locating a center in an empty industrial building near Spruce and Walnut streets following a presentation by Ron Reed, city economic development director. The money will come from an economic development fund.

After the departure of the Lee Co., the building, which is owned by Houston Development Co.,  has been used for an Air Evac business office and quarters for the Exceptional Child Cooperative.

Among those mentioned as possible tenants are Texas County Technical College, Missouri State University-West Plains, GED classes and vocational training.

—Heard Councilmen David Arthur lead a discussion on removing fluoride from the city’s water supply. No decision was made, and a forum may be held at some point.

—Heard City Administrator Larry Sutton report city finances are on track with the budget six months into the year.

—Learned that a home on Oak Hill Drive is being demolished. It was targeted by the city for renovations or demolition.

—Heard that Millstone Road has been determined to be owned by the Missouri Department of Transportation. The city discovered that it would require an easement for new business development south of Miller’s Grill. Dirt work is under way for a new restaurant.

—Decided to obtain further information about implementing a new online system that would allow police to check for stolen merchandise sold at pawn shops. Owner Gary Parish gave his views to the council. Further discussion is planned July 18.

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