Both the Russellville city council and the Logan County fiscal court have put their money where their mouth is and are funding a project that will benefit all of Logan County’s citizens if they a live a long life.
The former library, located on 6th Street in Russellville, is to become Logan County’s new senior center, as well as home of Community Action of Southern Kentucky.
“This is a project the city has been looking into for sometime,” said Russellville Mayor Mark Stratton. “But it just never seemed to get off the ground until now.”
Stratton said he personally believes God has intervened to make this happen, and he thanks the Logan County Fiscal Court – who had also been kicking around the idea for sometime- for partnering with the city on this project.
“I cannot say enough about the working relationship we have with the county,” said Russellville’s Mayor. “The county is contributing funds toward the project to help make this a reality.”
The city owns the building that once housed the library, which began operating August of 1967. The building is located at 201 West Sixth Street in Russellville, and was constructed with federal and state funds and a grant from the Thomas P. deGraffenried bequest to the city of Russellville designated “for the education of the people therein.” An addition the original structure in 1974 almost doubled its size to 11,538 square feet.
“This will be a perfect place for the senior center. It will allow for growth and for additional opportunities,” said Stratton.
Russellville’s current senior center is located on Hicks Street at the bottom of the hill on 9th Street. It is a small building with a big following. The seniors have outgrown their space and have been in need of a different location for some time now. The Meals on Wheels program, feeding home-bound seniors, also runs out of the center.
“We have talking about a new center since 2014, but we couldn’t quite make it happen,” said Stratton. “When the library moved to its new location on Armory Drive, we wondered if it could be a possibility we could use the vacant building for this dream. However, it wasn’t until this winter when a water pipe busted in the building that the opportunity arose.”
Because of the water line break, the city had to gut the entire inside of the building. This allowed for a more plausible space once opened up for the center to be located.
“Most of y’all know me, I’m a different kinda guy,” said Stratton during the Tuesday, Sept. 6 city council meeting. “When the water line broke at the library this past winter I believe this was God working in mysterious ways. When that happened, it became the avenue for us to be able to utilize this opportunity.”
After the building was reconstructed, Stratton began talking to Logan County Judge Executive Logan Chick about the center. That lead to contacting Community Action of Southern Kentucky, who became excited about the possibility.
“I want to extend my thanks to all of you,” said Melissa Weaver of Community Action of Southern Kentucky. Weaver was at the Sept. 6 meeting of the Russellville City Council saying, “We are going to knock your socks off.”
The Logan County Fiscal Court has agreed to contribute $200,000 towards the project, with the City of Russellville spending approximately $180,000 plus the building.
“We’ve looked into this two or three different ways, but it seemed like every time it just didn’t work out,” said Judge Executive Logan Chick. “I’m proud we are doing this as a community. We are not spending federal dollars and we are not spending money we don’t have.”
“The citizens of our city and our county are caring and loving. Our seniors have paid the price years ago and it’s time we pay them back. They are due this,” said Stratton.
To contact Chris Cooper, email [email protected] or call 270-726-8394.