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Reader Concerned About Building Addition

By Staff | Jul 26, 2011

To whom it may concern:

Older Citizens of Palo Alto County

It is understood that a Casino grant has been received by the local chapter of Northwest Aging to alter, or change the structure of a building located at 2008 11th Street, Emmetsburg.

This is a public building operated by a public entity.

In 1979 it was converted from other purposes to use as a location for a Dinner Date Program. Purchase was made from Papadakes with grant funds. Dinner Date Service began April 10, 1980.

All planning and construction was in conformity with handicapped accessibility for wheel chair persons.

The basic plan was submitted to the State Fire Marshall for approval. Before completion of construction inspectors from the office of the State Fire Marshall inspected construction. The first meal was served in the building April 10, 1980.

Now, some see the desire to make an addition to the front structure of this building.

This, in my opinion, should be questioned, and rejected. In about 1985 such a plan was presented to the County Supervisors and was rejected.

Since 1980, to date, there have been seven ambulance calls to this location. All ambulance calls have been exited through the rear door. A double door had been placed in front of the front door, restricting the front entrance. This has since been removed.

Now, a plan is being drawn to again restrict the front door by restricting the entrance on the outside. This restricts entry from the front door. A wheel chair has to pass through two doors to enter this building from the front. This addition is only extenuating this problem to the main front entrance.

This planned double entrance does one thing, which, in my opinion, should not be allowed to happen. A mob effect, in an accident could be the trigger for a disaster. This, we can not allow to happen. This means eliminating this planned construction.

This is a public building. Safety is of concern. This proposed addition was not in the original plan approved by the State Fire Marshall.

Rejection of this proposal, or any other restrictive plan is recommended.

Active ventilation in this building has been completely ignored. Ceiling, forced air fan ventilator, in the dining room ceiling, remains closed by a trap door in the ceiling. It remains not used.

A second North outside canopy hallway canopy door to be placed, as this plan proposes, will further restrict exchange of outside fresh air. I must say that management of this building has not provided free ventilation. This front outside entrance front hall will not relieve that situation with this new planned addition.

For some activities, a count of one hundred ten people has been counted for a period of over two hours, in this building. This must be recognized in this proposed plan, and is subject for rejection.

With limited ventilation, carbon monoxide problems could develop. There are gas burners in this building. These burners consume oxygen. There is a gas stove. It is assumed, heating is by gas. No source of outside ventilation is known.

Whatever the design of this proposed extension to this balanced design building placed there in 1923 should be spoiled by this planned alteration in decor. It will be noticed that the court house across the way, is a structure without such a canopy. Why do we need one here?

This involves a structural change to an operating entity. It becomes an operational restriction to access to a public building.

The back door is limited. One lady fell going in the back door.

Ventilation is an item of concern.

By implementing this proposal we are locking stale air in this building.

(signed)?Loren M. Greiner

Emmetsburg. IA