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  • Charlene Sims, Journal staff

Centerville, Parker centers to get repairs despite concerns

Updated: Dec 23, 2022

MOUND CITY – After learning that Linn County had received grant funds for 40 percent of improvements needed at the Parker and Centerville senior centers, it was nearly turned down.

On Monday, Nov. 28, Public Works Director Shaun West reported to the commissioners that Linn County had received grant funds from the East Central Kansas Area Agency on Aging (ECKAAA) for needed remodeling projects at the senior centers.

West said that ECKAAA is going to pay nearly $3,800 of the more than $9,000 cost for a new heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system and refrigerator at the Centerville nutrition site. At Parker, ECKAAA will pay nearly $4,000 of the more than $9,900 cost for redoing the floors and countertops.

Commissioner Danny McCullough asked if these were do-or-die items.

“Is everything going to be shut down if we opt out of it?” asked McCullough. “Are these repairs necessary to keep the buildings open?”

West replied that these items will have to be replaced at some point. Either the county accepts this opportunity to get 40 percent to take care of them now, or as they fail the county will have to take care of them without help.

Commissioner Rick James said that the Centerville site has good attendance but that Parker only has three to four people. He asked if the could should spend $7,000 for three or four people to come and eat at Parker.

Or, James asked, is it time for them to just get their meals delivered.

County Clerk David Lamb said that the building at Parker is used for other things. It is rented out for events, elections are held there, and the Parker City Council meets there.

Lamb also told the commissioners that there is $20,000 in the elderly fund to help with buildings, and in the equipment reserve fund there is $38,000 reserved for elderly with $20,000 of that being earmarked for the Pleasanton senior site.

McCullough said he would like to see the county’s maintenance crew develop a plan for all those buildings. He said that the commission was presented with this grant opportunity, and the county went out and found the worst buildings we had and the biggest problems, and now we are looking at a $12,000 expense.

West said that he and Economic Development Director Jessica Hightower had gone to the sites to see what repairs needed to be made. The Parker floor problem had been brought up as an issue at several commission meetings.

McCullough continued that he wanted to see a plan around budget time for each building so we can plan for it.

“I don’t think it is a bad investment, Danny,” said James.

“Let’s get a damn plan together,” said McCullough, adding that he hated how when the commission is presented with a grant, county staff goes out and finds issues and bring them to the public’s attention.

James said that he would vote for Centerville right now. He added that he looks at it that the money coming from ECKAAA is limited.

All three commissioners voted to accept the grant money from ECKAAA with McCullough seconding the motion.

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