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Ranburne Town Council authorizes agency to apply for senior center renovation grant

Ranburne Town Council

Shown at the Ranburne Town Council meeting of July 26 are, left to right, David Walker, Christie Ayers, Trevor Kribbs, Mayor Rodney Brown and Dennis Anglin. 

RANBURNE  — The Ranburne senior center is one step closer to getting a much-needed facelift.

During a Monday night meeting the Ranburne Town Council unanimously voted to pass a resolution which gives a green light to the East Alabama Regional Planning and Development Commission to apply for a community development block grant to upgrade the facility.

The grant, if approved, would have a limit of $250,000 but would not require any matching funds from the town unless the expenditures eclipsed that amount, according to Ranburne Mayor Rodney Brown. The town would be responsible for any amount spent beyond the $250,000 grant.

After the meeting the mayor said EARPDC will apply for the grant sometime near the end of August; the agency will announce the outcome in December or January.

“If it is approved then the next step would be a procedure they have to go through before they give the contract to whoever is going to fix it,” said Brown.

Renovations might not begin until June or July of 2022, Brown said, but whenever they’re performed, the senior center work is long overdue — at least based on a list of tasks to be tackled.

“They’re going to replace the walls, ceilings, a new roof, they’re going to fix the front door so it’s more handicap accessible,” said Brown. “They’re going to do some painting in here, changing out this paneling, but they’re also going to renovate the bathrooms to be more handicap accessible.”

The Ranburne Town Council meets in the senior center surrounded by dark brown paneling that has hung for almost 40 years, dating back to when the town started its senior center in 1982, Brown said. 

According to published reports in The Star, the senior center building was previously an apparel manufacturing plant owned by Chalk Line. A photo printed with the story clearly illustrates the only change since 1982 has been in the hairstyles of the employees — not the paneling. 

 The council Monday heard from Ranburne police Chief Ian Taylor, who reported that the town’s newly hired police officer, Glen Stiles, starts training at the Northeast Alabama Law Enforcement Academy next month. Taylor said that once Stiles graduates from the academy in December, he will begin patrolling with Taylor to become familiar with the town before patrolling on his own. 

The town currently has only one full-time officer, Taylor, and one part-time officer, Barry Nolen.

​Staff writer Bill Wilson: 256-235-3562. On Twitter @bwilson_star.