Midway gets nearly $300K

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Federal grant/loan to fund building senior citizens center

By Alice Du Pont

 For several years, members of the Midway City Council have dreamed of a center dedicated to the needs of its senior citizens. On Feb. 3, during an 11:30 a.m. ceremony the U.S. Department of Agriculture presented a check to the city for $289,400 for construction of a senior citizens center.

 The 3,040-square-foot facility will feature a large meeting area, which can accommodate up to 150 people, a kitchen and office, restrooms and storage and utility spaces. The $389,000 senior center is being made possible through $289,400 in loan (200,000) and grant ($89,400) funding from the USDA Rural Development Community facilities Program. The city of Midway is contributing $90,000.

 “This is an opportunity I’m excited about. I look forward to stopping in here next year for a cup of coffee. Rural America is what America is about. You’re near the hustle and bustle but you’re out here it is green with trees and grass; they don’t have that in South Florida,” said USDA State Director Richard Machek.

 “This is wonderful for our senior citizens who have been meeting in the fire station and at parks and recreation, wherever they could. Now they will have their own facility. There have been some ups and downs, and I applaud the citizens and the Council for a job well done,” said Midway Mayor Pro-Tem Chuck Willis.

 Machek said providing assistance to rural communities is at the core of Rural Development’s mission.
 “With this funding, seniors will have a place where they can come together for services and recreation,” he said.
 He urged the city to apply for future USDA Rural Development dollars. The programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.