Hanceville seniors enjoy a Valentine’s Day party.

Hanceville seniors enjoy a Valentine’s Day party.

Hanceville officials are hoping to offer local seniors a newer, nicer venue that’s closer to the center of the city’s action, if the city succeeds in securing a federal grant to help fund the project.

The Hanceville city council authorized mayor Kenneth Nail at its regular meeting Thursday to apply for a $250,000 Community Block Development Grant for construction of a new senior center at the city’s C.W. Day Park. Nail estimated the city would need to contribute an additional $300,000 to make the project work.

The current senior center, said Nail, is a small, decades-old building whose heavy use for senior activities shows just how inadequate the old building has become for its present purpose. Located on the city’s far east side, it’s also less convenient to other in-town amenities.

“Our center is over on the east side of the railroad tracks in Stepville, and it’s in a little old concrete block building that I’m guessing is probably 40-something years old,” he said. “It gets used a lot; in fact the seniors have some of the most active programs around, but it’s just out of date and not really suited to their needs. We’d like to do better for them if we can, and that’s why we’re applying for this grant.”

The council also approved a separate $5,000 application, which, if successful, will fund expansions to the “Paws Park” dog park area of Veterans Park near downtown.

Nail said the money would be used to expand and improve the current dog park, and to add fencing that would make the area a “park within a park,” much like the existing dog play area at Cullman’s Heritage Park. If approved, the dog park grant would require no additional match from the city.

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