THAYER -- Thayer Fun and Friends Senior Citizen Center is still serving meals at the Masonic Lodge on Third Street due to water seeping into the building through the wall. For more than two weeks the kitchen area of the building and approximately half the dinning area at the center on Chestnut Street was flooded.
Last week Calvin Bowers of Bowers Plumbing and Well Service, was at the center to try and fix the leak. He cemented an area at the back of the building hoping that would fix the seeping problem. That night, rains, came again and although the cemented area did not leak, the pool area, in another location at the back of the building, did.
Center director Sheila Smith said the center is now leaking in another area of the back wall.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials were at the center April 4 to look at the damage to the building.
Smith said they gave her an emergency number and told her the center could probably be helped through the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the process should not take long.
She said FEMA officials advised her to go ahead and get the leak fixed and to begin the cleaning process.
It is not clear where the water is coming from. Smith said she has been told it is run-off from the heavy rains the area has experienced and said other volunteers at the center say there is an underground spring that is causing the problem.
The center is still preparing their noon meals at the Alton Senior Center and bringing them back to Thayer where they are being served to seniors gathering at the Masonic Lodge. Smith said frozen meals and homebound meals are being delivered as normal.
"We have had an offer from the Koshkonong Senior Center to use their kitchen to prepare our meals. We are going to get with the health department inspector and see if their center meets the guidelines for our use. We have a lot of restrictions when it comes to our meal preparation," she said. Smith added that the Koshkonong center does not cook and serve food everyday so their kitchen is available. She said she is grateful for the use of the Alton center kitchen but that there would be a lot more room for the cooks at the Koshkonong center. Presently at Alton, the cooks are trying to prepare a meal for Thayer at the same time the Alton cooks are preparing meals for the Alton Senior Center.
Because of the situation the center is serving an emergency lunch menu because they can't cook and transfer the regular meal menu that far. Smith said she is serving about one half as many noon meals as she normally does.
"My seniors lives have been disrupted. So many of them don't have anywhere to go and they don't know what to do," Smith said.
Smith said she is very thankful for all the volunteers who are still helping deliver the frozen and homebound meals. "They have been very faithful. We also thank the Masons so much for the use of their building. It is greatly appreciated," Smith said.
She said it is going to take money and time to get the center back open on Chestnut Street and she and her volunteers will be very glad when that happens.