USDA recognizes local board

Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Certificate awarded to senior housing corporation On Tuesday, Mark Hultgren, USDA area director, and Rachelle Long, housing program specialist from USDA Missouri State Director Anita "Janie" Dunning's office, recognized the Cassville Senior Citizens Rental Housing Corporation Board of Directors during a ceremony held at the senior apartments on Townsend Street in Cassville. Board President Landon Fletcher, Directors Herb Primrose, Sue Stiles, Ruby Reese and Bob Mitchell, Manager Jennifer Evans and senior apartment residents gathered to accept a certification of appreciation plaque from Long during the event. Bob Kollmeier, agriculture representative from Congressman Billy Long's office was also in attendance. Democrat Photo/Lindsay Reed

On Tuesday, the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development presented the Cassville Senior Citizens Rental Housing Corporation Board of Directors with a certificate of appreciation for participation in the Rural Senior Housing Initiative (RSH) Grant program.

Earlier this year, the corporation, which operates the senior apartments on Townsend in Cassville, received a three-year grant that will fund energy efficiency improvements at the housing complex.

The Cassville Senior Citizens Rental Housing Corporation was awarded $13,000 to purchase and install new energy-efficient hot water heaters and attic insulation in senior apartments this year. During the second year, apartments will receive energy-efficient windows, and new metal front and storm doors will be installed during the third year.

Utility costs are included in the rental fees at the senior housing apartments. According to Manager Jennifer Evans, lowering energy costs will help keep rent costs lower for tenants.

"We are hoping this will enhance the quality of life for our residents, but the main goal is to keep rent as low as possible," said Evans. "With the rising costs of utilities, we are trying to do everything we can on our end to keep the costs down."

The corporation will receive 80 percent of the grant funds up front and the remaining 20 percent of funding after improvements have been completed.

"With the costs of energy rising, we are grateful to have been awarded this grant to make upgrades to the 40 one-bedroom units," said Landon Fletcher, board president. "The board would like to extend special thanks and recognition to Jennifer Evans. She took the initiative to apply for the grant and will oversee that grant funds are used as intended. With her dedication, our board continues to fulfill the challenge of meeting every expense to benefit this senior community."

Rachelle Long, housing program specialist from Missouri USDA director Anita "Janie" Dunning's office presented Fletcher with the certification of appreciation plaque. Long said only two RSH grants were awarded in Missouri this year.

In a press release, Dunning stated, "I commend the hard work and initiative of the (Cassville Senior Citizens Rental Housing Corporation) Board of Directors and staff to provide affordable housing for the local senior citizens of Cassville. The board's outstanding dedication and efforts are truly an asset to the residents and the Cassville community."

The Cassville Senior Citizen Rental Housing Corporation Board of Directors includes: Fletcher, Bob Mitchell, Mark Smith, Herb Primrose, Darrell Ledenham, Sue Stiles, Phyllis Baker, Ruby Reese and Donna Hayes. Mitchell is a founding member of the board of directors.

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