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Area agency mulls nutrition center move

The Senior Nutrition Center in Cloverdale may be moving acrosstown to a new location that organizers hope will increase interestin the program.

Southwest Mississippi Planning and Development DistrictExecutive Director Wirt Peterson said his organization isconsidering moving the center into a house owned by Lincoln Countyat the multi-purpose facility on Beltline Road, a central locationhe hopes will attract more participation. He said less than 10people per day visit the Cloverdale site on Williams Street, and atleast 20 people daily are necessary to make the program costeffective.

“We’re just trying to get the volume up,” Peterson said. “Thelocation we have right now doesn’t attract very many people.”

If SWMPDD approves the plan, Peterson said it would rent halfthe house from the county and spend between $30,000 and $40,000 torenovate the kitchen area and install wheelchair ramps andwheelchair-accessible bathrooms to make the site compliant with theAmericans with Disabilities Act. The organization is currentlyreviewing its finances to see if the move is feasible, he said.

However, Lincoln County Board of Supervisors president the Rev.Jerry Wilson is concerned for the people who use the nutritioncenter at its present location. He described the center as wellattended by mostly elderly residents, and worries that moving thecenter to the multi-purpose facility would leave those attendeeswith no other options.

“When you move it, will the elderly be able to travel outthere?” Wilson said later. “Not everyone knows where themulti-purpose facility is. Will they be able to get out there?That’s what I’m worried about.”

Moving the Senior Nutrition Center into the house at themulti-purpose facility would solve a problem for countysupervisors, who are not quite sure what to do with the house.

The house sits on four acres recently purchased by the countythrough the multi-purpose commission. County officials wanted thefour acres for possible expansion of the facility, and the housewas part of the deal.

During last Monday’s board meeting, commissioner Dr. WilliamKimble said renovation costs for the house would be high, andestimates for having it moved from the site are $10,000 – on theconservative side.

LCMP Manager Quinn Jordan said the facility’s budget would notallow for the house to be moved. He said the facility’s office maybe moved into the unused portion of the house, and no county fundswould be spent on the house’s renovation.