Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

October 2, 2012

Bussey seniors adapting to new meal location

Steve Woodhouse
Journal-Express

Bussey — The Marion County Board of Supervisors had one of the County's buildings, the Bussey Memorial Hall, inspected last Wednesday and it was determined that the building is unsafe. Senior meals have been transferred to the Bussey Community Center as a result. 

Today (Tuesday, Oct. 2) would have marked the 28th anniversary of meals being served at the hall. Meals were moved to the community center on Thursday, Sept. 27.

"Memorial Hall was their home," Site Coordinator Polliann Carlson said. It was hard for some of the seniors to accept the change, but they are adapting. Every senior who received their meals at the memorial hall has made the change and not given up on the Senior Nutrition program. Approximately 25-30 meals are served either at the site or delivered in Bussey. 

Carlson said there are still some issues with the new site, including the need to move the program's dishwasher to the community center. The cooperation between the program and the City of Bussey has been good as well.

"It's unfortunate and sad," Bussey City Clerk Rachel Reed said of the decision to close the building. Reed and Bussey Councilor Steve Finch said the council had no issues with moving the meal site. 

The building is 112 years old and was last renovated after World War II, according to Finch. He said that while the community would like to see the building rebuilt, it is not feasible. The City of Bussey is just hopeful that, if the building is demolished, the County will incur the costs. The building belongs to Marion County.

Finch and Reed say losing this piece of history is hard on the older generation. It is another sign of loss in the small community. Reed is unsure whether or not the County realized the condition of the building. 

Meals were not the only use for the memorial hall. The Legion Post meets there and the Auxiliary hosts bingo on Mondays. The City is trying to work with these organizations to arrange the site transfer to the community center. The issue has come up suddenly, and the City has not had much time to discuss these changes yet. Finch is confident that an agreement can be reached.

"There is no problem that does not have a resolution," Finch said.