Supervisors increase Templeton center spending
But Meiners says $10,000 falls short
September 24, 2013
The former Sacred Heart elementary school in Templeton is being renovated into a community center. The community has raised more than $1.2 million in private funds and when construction is complete the facility will be able accommodate 700 people.
Seeking to boost his city's chance to capture a $200,000 Vision Iowa grant to help fund the developing $1.6 million Templeton Community Center, Mayor Ken Behrens approached the Carroll County Board of Supervisors Monday seeking an increase in that panel's $8,000 contribution.
The community center, owned by the city and well into the construction process, surpassed the $1.2 million mark in private donations weeks ago.
"We intend for it to be state-of-the-art," Behrens said of the former Sacred Heart School. "In Templeton, we are very forward-thinking."
A signature feature of the community center will be a banquet hall. Restrooms will be expanded and modernized and the kitchen updated. The facility is now asbestos-free following a $62,000 removal project.
The Templeton Community Center is expected to have a 700-person capacity making it one of the larger venues in the Carroll area. Supporters expect it to draw events from Audubon County as well.
Supervisor Gene Meiners, with the support of Supervisor Marty Danzer, sought to increase funding from the board to $20,000 - Behrens' original ask earlier this year.
"I think when we have a community project like this we have to be behind it wholly," said Meiners, a former mayor of Templeton.
Votes to increase funding to $12,000 and $16,000 failed along with the $20,000 proposal - with Meiners and Danzer supporting the hikes and Supervisors Dan Nieland, Mark Beardmore and Neil Bock in opposition.
Beardmore made a motion to increase the funding to $10,000 - which passed on a 5-0 vote.
"It's a nice five-digit figure," Bock said. "It shows our momentum."
Added Beardmore, "The one thing I have concern about is coming back to the well."
Sacred Heart School was built in 1964. The Sioux City Diocese closed it in 2003 as part of a consolidation of Carroll-area Catholic schools to the Kuemper Catholic School System. The City of Templeton owns the school property after purchasing it for $1. Sacred Heart Parish has special-use considerations under the transfer agreement.
Behrens said Templeton hopes to have the community center open by June 1.
Behrens said he returned to the supervisors seeking more county funding because Vision Iowa officials told Templeton leaders they wanted to see greater local government commitment.
How the $10,000 figure will factor in versus the $20,000 asked is unknown, Behrens said.
But Meiners said Templeton could lose the Vision Iowa money, all of it, because the supervisors would not provide more support.
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