Senath planning disaster relief building

SENATH, MO (KAIT) - The Senath city council approved plans to build a disaster relief building for the city.

Senath mayor Joe Lane said the city council voted Monday to move forward with building plans for the center at the corner of Maple Street and Main Street. "We're going to try to bring the little town back to life."

"We could rent it out for parties, whatever. Family reunions."

Delbert Lawrence said the city has needed a multi-purpose building for several years, most recently during the ice storm of 2009. "We was out of power, we was out of cable vision and all that. Some of the phones weren't working. If you didn't have a cricket phone you didn't have much."

"We were without electric for 20 days here and we had to use the local churches for shelter, and it was overcrowded," said Mayor Lane.

"I think it would definitely help if we have another disaster to have one central location where everyone could go to," said Ken Johnson.

Mayor Lane estimates the project will cost $125,000. Lane said funding will not come from the sales tax increase voters passed in November. "None of the sales tax off the bond issue we passed, none of that will be spent on the community building. It's totally a separate situation."

Mayor Lane is relying on donations for the community building from the community. "We opened up an account yesterday and my wife and I made the first donation."

Johnson said he had not heard about the source of the funding. "I haven't heard much talk about how they're going to fund it other than what I've been told about getting donations. It would be nice if we could get a grant for something like that because it's hard for a community of this size to raise that kind of money."

The people we talked to said $125,000 is a lot, but they want the city to reach its full potential.

"People around here want to see our town grow."

The mayor wants start building in May and finish the project during the summer.

"We're going to try to have this thing in the dryer sometime this summer."

Residents who want to contribute can donate to the community building fund at Senath State Bank on Commercial Street.

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