Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

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October 8, 2012

Bussey Community Center needs upgrades

Knoxville — With the Marion County Board of Supervisors' decision to close the Memorial Hall in Bussey, following an engineer's recommendation, upgrades are needed at the Bussey Community Center for the interim facility to meet Senior Nutrition demands. 

The Community Center has been used for over a week, since the Memorial Hall was closed. Meals have continued to be served to up to 30 residents each day on disposable materials, due to the lack of a dishwasher at the Center. 

A bid has been submitted by Plumb Tech of Lacona in the amount of $4,850 to address the plumbing and electrical issues that need to be addressed at the Center before it can officially be the permanent home of Senior Meals in Bussey. The question at Monday's supervisors' meeting became who should pay for it. The Senior Meals program is run by the County, but the City of Bussey owns the Center.

"It is a City building," County Maintenance Director Cal Stephens said. Any improvements made to meet the standards would become permanent. He suggested letting the City pay for the repairs and the County pay to lease the space. 

Bussey Mayor Larry Pinegar said the City would struggle to raise $5,000 for the repairs. Supervisor Craig Agan, who took part in the meeting via telephone, suggested the County provide a grant to Bussey to pay for the repairs. Discussion later turned to the County paying for the project, with the City repaying the County. 

"We need some time to work on this," Agan said. Though the State of Iowa requires certain things for such meal sites, Senior Nutrition Director Dawn Allspach said she has been in contact with the State and they have allowed the operation to continue.

"The State of Iowa knows we're in transition," Allspach said. 

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