• Charlene Sims, Journal staff

Commission expects decision on Pleasanton meal site in two weeks

Updated: Jul 22

MOUND CITY – After listening to concerns of the K- State Extension nutrition assistant Melanie Grote, Pleasanton Senior Citizen site director Nancy Gustin, and others on Monday, May 16, the Linn County Commissioners said they would have a final decision on where the Pleasanton Senior Center will be located in two weeks.

Grote asked commissioners about plans for the Pleasanton Congregate Meal site. She said she had been giving programs there for more than four years, and she had seen the site grow as Gustin brought in more and more seniors to the program.

She explained that there was a high, high need and it needs to be a priority. She said that it was actually a mental health issue. Senior citizens need to socialize and participate in activities outside of their homes.

Commissioner Rick James said that the biggest concern was that the building was not in good shape and the county doesn’t want to have to pay to rent another building.

James said that when the community center was being built, the county was going to help with the costs so it the senior center could be there. However, because of the funding used for the community center the county’s money couldn’t be used.

Grote asked what would have to be done to the building the center was in.

Commissioner Danny McCullough said that it would take a lot of money to restore the building and he did not want to give his opinion on everything because he was not a roofer or an electrician.

Grote asked if any of the commissioners had been to the center to visit with the people to see what they want or need.

McCullough said he had been there, and everybody there said they were in favor of moving to the community center except for two people.

Gustin said they voted that way because they thought the choices were moving to the health department building or the community center. Staying at that location was not given as an option.

Gustin told the commissioners that if the cost was a wash between remodeling the building they were in and adding a kitchen to the community center, the consensus of the people who attended the center was to stay in their building which felt like home to them.

She said she understood that change was hard but she was just asking for a comparison of the costs of improving the building they were in or adding a kitchen to the community center.

Gustin reminded the commissioners that there were still several appliances, ovens, and an eight-burner stove, freezers and coolers that were in the building and could either be used elsewhere in the county or sold.

McCullough said that they were not trying to take the program away but trying to make it better for the seniors.

Other options for the center that have been looked at were at the health department building or at the school. Participants at the center did not like the health department location because it was too far away and people could not walk there.

McCullough said he was not in favor of the school location. Commission Chair Jim Johnson and James said that they were not either

James, an East Central Kansas Area Agency on Aging (ECKAAA) board member, said that there were a few small issues to be dealt with if the building changed locations. First, the new location would have to be approved by ECKAAA and second there was a $100 transfer fee.

Gustin said the issue was discussed daily during the lunches and left people feeling ill at ease because they did not know if they were going to stay there or whether they were going to move.

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