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  • Writer's pictureCharlene Sims, Journal staff

Commission moves forward with plan to replace Pleasanton center with former cáfe

Updated: Apr 5, 2023

The Linn County Commission on a split 2-1 vote Monday approved a plan that would move the Pleasanton Senior Center to the former MeeMaw's Restaurant at 602 Main. (Journal file photo)

MOUND CITY – At the Monday, April 3, Linn County Commission meeting, the commissioners on a split 2-1 vote agreed to have Commission Chair Danny McCullough negotiate with the owners of the MeeMaw’s restaurant building to purchase it for the Pleasanton Senior Meal site. Commissioner Jim Johnson voted against the motion.

Doug and Becky Grant, owners of Cookee’s Drive-In in Pleasanton, own the former MeeMaw’s building at 602 Main. The use of that building over the past several month has been the center of a dispute between the Grants and the city of Pleasanton because it has been used as a residence in violation of city codes.

At Monday’s commission meeting, Public Works Director Shaun West presented the commissioners with the estimates for refitting the storage area at the health department and the MeeMaw’s building to accommodate the senior citizens.

The estimate for the health department was to make a 30-foot-by-30-foot area into an area for the senior meals with a small kitchenette along one wall. The estimate did not include adding any windows or doorways. The seniors would share the health department’s bathrooms. The bid was for $28,000.

The commissioners discussed whether staff at the health department had been asked about this since they stored items in this area. West said it had not been discussed with staff there. He said that currently the amount of items that were stored in that total area of 69 feet by 30 feet, if condensed would take up about two thirds of the area.

McCullough expressed concerns about the sharing of bathrooms and lack of windows and exits in the area.

Commissioner Jason Hightower asked if the commission was going to remodel a building that the senior citizens did not want to be at why did they not just transport them to Mound City’s building every day.

Johnson said the commission needed to move forward with the health department building because it was less money.

The estimate for refitting the former restaurant building was $10,200 on top of the $85,000 asking price. The estimate included redoing a bathroom to be compliant with American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA) specifications and adding a second bathroom.

Other improvements included repairing around the electric meter and other electrical work, cosmetic work on the interior like fixing and replacing some ceiling tiles, and installing a wash sink. On the exterior, a broken window needed to be replaced, some siding issues and holes on the south end needed to be addressed. Also adding a kitchen area was in the plan.

Hightower said he liked the idea of the former restaurant but asked how the county would pay for the building since the elderly equipment fund did not have that much money.

McCullough said he would like to use American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to purchase and remodel the building for the seniors.

Hightower said he was concerned about using the ARPA funds since changes to the solid waste landfill were going to cost so much. He asked if there was something the county could liquidate to get the funds.

McCullough said that the county would be selling the old senior center building, and while it would not pay for the cost of the new building, it could go toward that. McCullough also asked if there was any issue if the county sold off the hay ground around the airstrip.

County Counselor Gary Thompson said there was no potential county use for the acreage except for setbacks from the airstrip.

Johnson pointed out that the seniors would be moving into a brand new building if they went to the health department.

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