STANFORD — A plan to build a wellness center addition onto the Lincoln County Senior Citizens Center has been scrapped in favor of constructing a stand-alone structure in Veterans Park instead.
Lincoln County magistrates learned Tuesday morning from architect Garlan Vanhook that the original plan to add on to the senior citizens center would cost about $392,000 — more than $100,000 beyond the $285,000 the county has available from a years-old wellness grant.
Weak soil near the lake in front of the center means building an addition would require concrete anchors that reach down to rock deep below the surface — an expensive upgrade that put the project beyond the county's means, Vanhook said.
Based on recommendations from Vanhook and Judge-Executive Jim Adams, magistrates voted to reject all bids for the addition and send Vanhook back to the drawing board to come up with a plan for a free-standing building that could be erected in First Southern National Bank Veterans Park.
Vanhook said there are many options for what could be done with a structure in the proposed location, which would be near a barn and gravel parking lot by the soccer fields and park office.
The building could act as a wellness center, similar to what was planned for the senior citizens center. It could also provide a gym-like area for the community, Vanhook said.
The funding for whatever the wellness structure eventually becomes comes from a line-item grant that Rep. Ben Chandler landed for the county to use for wellness, Adams said.
Former Judge-Executive Buckwheat Gilbert had wanted to construct a multipurpose center for wellness and veterans with the grant money, but the idea he proposed had a price tag of about $1.4 million, well beyond what the county received, Adams said.
Adams said the county has had the grant money available for four years and he's concerned if the county doesn't use it for something soon, someone in Frankfort may push to have it taken away.
"It's laid there for several years and we need to go ahead and turn that back in or use it," he said.
Vanhook said he expects to be back before the fiscal court in the spring with new plans for the standalone building, ready to bid the project out.
Adams said a metal structure is a likely option, especially since the county has paid to construct several other metal structures recently, so it will already have an idea of what $285,000 can buy.
In other business, the fiscal court:
• approved accepting $125,000 in state road funds to pave Harmons Lick Road north of Crab Orchard;
• voted to draft a three-year contract for Tim Siler, making him the county-wide electrical inspector and instituting fees of $60 per visit and $30 per call-back; and
• approved changing the name of a road north of Hustonville, West Huston Pointe, to Carl Russell Street.