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Council seeks nutrition center funds

Troy’s Lillian D. Green Nutrition Center could be one step closer to getting a new home.

This comes after the Troy City Council gave approval Tuesday to apply for a Community Block Development Grant that could fund up to $250,000. But, even if the grant is awarded, that would only fund half of the estimated costs of the project.

“If we don’t have the matching funds, we could withdraw the application,” said Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford. That’s something Lunsford said he doesn’t believe the council would have to do.

Still, in hopes of being able to move forward with the project, the council voted Tuesday to submit the application to the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs.

“I would like for us to move forward because what this will do is help us with two programs,” Lunsford said, referring to the Colley Senior Complex housed upstairs in the nutrition center.

He said both programs are running out of space to allow them to continue to do all they would like. And Nutrition Center Director Hassie Green agreed.

“I would appreciate the OK for this money because it is needed not only for the seniors of today but also the seniors of tomorrow,” Green said.

The estimated project total is $510,930, but Lunsford said he believes he could possibly reduce that slightly.

There are four potential locations for the new center: on the old Academy Street football field, located behind the site of the library’s future home; on field one of the former Knox Street ball field; the intersection of North Three Notch Street and Knox Street across from the ball field; or behind the current Colley Senior Complex.

The final location spot came at the suggestion of Council President Johnny Witherington, though the site has not been measured to see if it would be an adequate size.

The nutrition center currently feeds a total of 735 senior citizens per week through the center’s daily lunch program, homebound program and homemakers program.

Lunsford said the city would be best served to use a location it currently owns in order to keep costs within the estimate. It owns all sites but the one across from the ball field.

In other business, the council voted to declare the buildings at 900 N. Three Notch St. and 116 Murphree St. as unsafe. They also voted to remove the building at 105 Hodges St., which was declared unsafe in the last meeting.