May 15, 2009
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Renovations Under Way at Owensville Senior Citizen Homes
OWENSVILLE— Tenants at Owensville Senior Citizens Homes don’t have to watch the Home and Garden Television to see home improvements. They are occurring all around them.
The decades-old sliding windows in Irene Clubb’s apartment were difficult to slide open.
“The windows were really getting bad,” said Clubb, who has lived at Owensville Senior Citizen homes since 1993. “I always worried about it in case of fire.” Clubb won’t have to worry any longer because new, energy efficient windows have been installed.
Cindy Blackwell, one of the newest residents at the apartment complex, is looking forward to the new shower. Her home currently does not have a shower. Back problems make getting in and out of the bathtub a painful experience for Blackwell. A new shower will solve that problem.
Renovation work—in the form of new windows, roofs, showers, appliances, furnaces and cabinets—is well under way on the 44-apartments that make up Owensville Senior Citizens Homes. The work is being accomplished through a $500,000 grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines with the local non-profit board investing roughly $26,000.
Legends Bank of Linn and Owensville is a member of the Federal Home Loan Bank and helped the local group access the grant and prepares payments to contractors. Meramec Regional Planning Commission of St. James prepared the application and serves as contract manager and project inspector.
“The contractors are working like crazy,” said Shirley Landwehr, site manager. “These roofs really look nice and so do the windows.”
The apartment complexes were built some 20 to 30 years ago, using loans from USDA Rural Development, who also provides rental assistance to very low-income families in the apartments.
Because the units are designed to be affordable, rents are below market rates, making it difficult for the volunteer boards to accumulate funds to undertake major renovation of the aging units.
Grant funds are being used to install central heating and cooling systems, replace roofs, windows, doors, hot water heaters, appliances, renovate bathrooms, install ground fault outlets, smoke detectors, soffit and fascia, pave the parking lot and replace kitchen cabinetry, as grant funds allow.
The work was bid out a few months ago, and the local board—chaired by Andrew Michel of Owensville—selected 10 contractors to complete the work, including Matt’s Home Service of Cuba, Sunset Heating and Cooling of Belle, Roy’s Gutters and Home Improvement of Argyle, Aubertin Construction of Fredericktown, Granneman Sales and Service of Hermann, Pioneer Home Center of Owensville, Randy Woemmel of Owensville, Schaefferkoetter Electric of Owensville, Mid-MO Drain Cleaning and Plumbing of Belle and Pride Master of St. Charles.
The board plans to use the balance of funds to replace kitchen cabinetry, and that work will be bid in the near future.
All work should be completed this summer.
Both Clubb and Blackwell commented on the friendliness and polite-nature of the work crews. “No flower beds or gardens have been trampled,” Blackwell said. “There’s a lot of active going on but it’s all been good,” she added.
“The workers are doing a good job and cleaning up after themselves,” said Clubb. “It’s really going to be nice.”
The Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines is a wholesale cooperative bank that provides low-cost short and long-term funding and community lending to more than 1,200 members. It is one of twelve regional banks that make up the Federal Home Loan Bank System. The FHLB System is the largest supplier of home mortgage credit in the United States. Congress created the national network of privately owned wholesale banks in 1932 to ensure available funding for mortgages, however, it receives no taxpayer funding.
The bank devotes 10 percent of its net income each year to affordable housing programs. The Des Moines bank serves commercial banks, savings institutions, credit unions and insurance companies in Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota and South Dakota.