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CFF grants fund senior center, bus compound

Two Community Focus Fund grants in the amount of $500,000 each will be officially presented June 30 to the town of Palmyra and Blue River Services at the Statehouse in Indianapolis for a future senior citizens center and a transportation facility.
Palmyra’s town board has been gathering funds for the center since last summer, but according to Alvin Brown, current board member, the original grant, applied for in November, did not go through.
Brown said after he and Paul Eveslage were elected to the board in November, they, along with board member Jenny Kirkham, decided to continue pursuing the grant money for the senior center and reapplied again in January, with help from Jill Saegesser and River Hills Economic Development.
‘The project was already started,’ Brown said. ‘It will be a nice place for seniors to play their card games … ‘
The Harrison County Community Foundation provided the required 10-percent cash match for the project last fall, a total of $124,875, which was actually closer to 20 percent of the total cost of the project, estimated at $625,000.
State Rep. Paul Robertson, D-Depauw, also praised the receipt of the grant.
‘The town has had a need for a senior citizens center for several years,’ he said. ‘The community will be able to build one with this funding. The center will be conveniently located next to the senior housing project being constructed in Palmyra. It is difficult for communities to find the revenue for needed projects. I am pleased both of these worthy efforts will receive large grants.’
Brown agrees with the difficulty of finding revenue.
‘I would never support town money funding this,’ he said. ‘We have mosquito spraying; we’ve got to keep the streets fixed … If it wasn’t for the grant, it wouldn’t be built.’
He does, though, see the benefit of having a center, especially one so close to home.
‘With the economy the way it is, nobody’s driving anywhere,’ Brown said.
Once the town accepts the grant money, it will be ‘a green light to go,’ Brown said. He expects bids will be out within the next month, but he doesn’t have a timetable for beginning construction.
Blue River Services, a resource for elderly and low-income families in Southern Indiana, will use its $500,000 grant to construct a new building for its buses, which are offered to those elderly or low-income individuals in need of transportation. An extension of having its own building will be that bus maintenance will now be done by Blue River Services.
‘The cost savings of having its own building and allowing its employees to do the basic upkeep of the buses will be significant,’ said Robertson.