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2020 Outage Highlights Need For Sparta Senior Center Generator

The City of Sparta is addressing a need for back up power at the Sparta Senior Center by applying for federal assistance.

The application is for a generator through a USDA Rural Development grant. City Administrator Brad Hennessee said the need is to keep the senior center’s Meals on Wheels program going in case of an outage.

“When we talked to them, found out that they’re doing roughly 275 meals a day, four days a week,” Hennessee said. “Their appliances are actually gas appliances, but they’ve got a big walk-in freezer.”

Hennessee said the need was highlighted by the November 2020, citywide outage.

“We didn’t have anything for our Meals on Wheels program,” Hennessee said. “As far as electrical or generator backup for the Sparta Senior Center.”

Hennessee said they have five more freezers, and five refrigerators in the facility. He said the grant would be 55/45 split on a generator.

“We think that the generator that’s appropriately sized for that facility will cost about $30,000 with the installation,” Hennessee said. “So, 45 percent of the $30,000 would be a $13,5000 expenditure to the city.”

Hennessee said he believes there will be a quick turnaround on the application. He said Sparta could hear if it got the grant in a month to six weeks.

“What is likely to happen on this is, the Local Support grant money that Sparta got back in the Fall for COVID related, we didn’t have to use any of that on COVID,” Hennessee said. “We kind of held that back in reserves. If need be, we could take that out of the Local Support grant money and then put it back in, in July with the new budget so it didn’t hold us up.”

Hennessee said that the city reached out to UCDD and asked about grants that could apply to this need. He said none were available originally, but now one is open.

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