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South Summit seniors outgrowing aging facility

Loraine Frantz plays cards at the South Summit Senior center, in Kamas, Monday. The Summit County Council will consider sponsoring a $155,000 grant for a new senior center Wednesday during a public hearing at 6 p.m. at the Summit County Courthouse, in Coalville. (Jake Shane/Park Record)
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Betty W. Gines, president of the South Summit Senior Center, decided to go for broke and ask the Summit County Council for a whole new facility.

The aging Kamas facility, located at 20 E 400 S, restricts the number activities and services that can be provided to more than 40 seniors that use it, Gines said.

"The main thing that would help the seniors, and the kid that is doing the cooking now is doing a very fine job, but the kitchen is totally a mess and we need a new one," Gines said. "We understand that they have a budget and can’t give us everything, but we might as well shoot for the stars."

The Summit County Council is being asked to sponsor a $155,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) to fund the construction of a new senior center in the soon-to-be renovated county services building, in Kamas. A public hearing is scheduled to introduce the applicants who are seeking the county’s sponsorship for the CDBG grants Wednesday, Jan. 13, at 6 p.m., at the Summit County Courthouse, in Coalville.

Summit and Wasatch counties are expected to receive $500,000 from the program through the Mountainland Association of Government to disperse among those grant requests for community projects. The CDBG program provides funding to small cities and counties in Utah from the U.S. Department of Housing, according to the website.

The new services building, which will include the Kamas Library and driver’s license services, would also include space for a 3,100-square-foot senior center if the grant is awarded. Nearly 35 percent larger than the current space, the center would include a full-sized kitchen, shared computer classroom space, and room for more activities such as exercise classes and crafts.

The County Council had allocated $5 million in the 2016 budget for the renovation of the services building, but did not account for a new senior center.

The space currently housing the senior center is rented from Kamas City and is approximately 2,300 square feet. More than 40 Kamas Valley seniors regularly attend activities at the center, which include playing cards and crafts.

"If possible we would like to have a small stage so that when people come to perform we could actually see them," Gines said. "We also have three pool tables and we would like to have room for those and maybe even more handicapped parking spaces. Those are the kinds of things we are looking forward to.

"It would be good for us," Gines said.

The county is currently negotiating the contract for the construction of the services building. Officials say renovations could be complete sometime in the fall.

A committee will review the applications for grant requests in March. Applicants who will receive funds will be notified in May.

Last year, $66,399 was awarded to Hoytsville Pipe and Water Company through the CDBG program. The company is applying for another grant this year for either $200,000 or $100,000 to complete two projects. Peoa Pipeline Company and High Valley Water Company are also applying for grants and asking for the county’s sponsorship.

The County Council will hear all requests during the public hearing.


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