Electric Power provided a some financial juice to the Noble County Council on
Aging’s senior center project, announcing a $50,000 grant Tuesday.
vacant shop at the old Max Platt dealership at the corner of Main and Iddings
streets, with the subtle fuel smell of an overhead heater in the air of the
unfinished space, Council on Aging leaders gladly accepted the funds for a
project that continues to hit hurdles.
the organization thinks it has enough money for the project, something happens
and it needs a little more. But now the group is rapidly closing on the cash
needed to renovate the old dealership and add an expansion.
director Cherish Smith thanked AEP for its help in the project, which aims to
renovate the existing building, add another 3,500 square feet to the west side
along Iddings Street and build a pocket park at the corner with Main Street.
president and chief operating officer for Indiana Michigan Power, said the
grant is from the company’s “basic needs” program, which helps provide money to
projects that serve the community. A new senior center will greatly serve the
community, which made the project a perfect fit for the grant award.
for what you do for the community,” Thomas said. “We’re committed to helping
the community thrive and grow.”
Kendallville city councilman and president of the Council on Aging Board,
appreciated the gift from AEP.
excited about what we’re getting ready to do on this property,” he said.
Barb Wolf, a
volunteer at the council office, told the gathered group about some of what the
Council on Aging offers, including card games, carry-in luncheons, senior
health screenings, clinics and trips. That’s on top of the Noble Transit the
organization offers, providing low-cost public transportation for the
The group is
still doing some fundraising, as another gap remains between the money on hand
and the cost of the senior center project.
In May, the
council announced it had to return a $500,000 grant it won from the state and
had planned to use to renovate an old foundry office on Ohio Street into a new
It took the
Council on Aging three years to win the grant and, in that time, the foundry
building deteriorated to the point that fixing it would cost even more than
anticipated. The expected price of the renovation was upward of $1 million.
organization regrouped and formed a plan to grow at the old dealership, which
had been given to the group for a place to park its transport vans.
$500,000 in the bank in fall, it anticipated being able to start construction
early this year. But when it got prices on the project in February, those were
now upward of $870,000.
So it was
back to the fundraising board once again. The $50,000 grant, along with a
$25,000 gift from the Community Foundation of Noble County, has helped the new
quarrelsome project may need to be tackled a bit at a time to ensure that it
gets done, Smith said.
looking at potentially, we may have to do it in two phases,” Smith said
parking lot along Main Street, a painted board shows the progress of the latest
fundraising push. The organization hosted a garage sale over the weekend —
raised about $2,300 from the successful event, too — and had more work ahead to
get the last of the money it needs.
senior center is getting closer to being a reality. The group just has a little
more to go. The community, Smith hopes, will help them get over the hump this
“We can’t do
any of this without you,” Smith said.