County Helps Blythe Repair Community Center
BLYTHE – Riverside County will help the City of Blythe pay for much-needed repairs to the Blythe Community Center, where the Riverside County Office on Aging provides daily meals to seniors, the two governments announced Thursday.
Riverside County will provide $225,000 of the total project cost and loan the remaining $75,000. At its Tuesday meeting, the Blythe City Council voted to commit a portion of the city’s community development block grant allocation from 2015-18 to repay the county the $75,000 in three $25,000 installments.
“This community center provides vital programs to Blythe residents, and Riverside County is committed to making sure the center and its kitchen get the repairs they need to safely operate,” said Supervisor John J. Benoit. “I am very pleased and truly appreciative of the city’s commitment to this joint project to bring this building up to the tip-top shape that senior citizens in our community deserve.”
The Riverside County Office on Aging’s senior nutrition program serves meals to 60 seniors every weekday and prepares meals for an additional 30 seniors served through the homebound delivery program. This program was in danger of closing until the county, backed by the city’s commitment, secured the funds for the building’s renovation.
The Desert Alliance for Community Empowerment (DACE), a non-profit organization that has developed community projects in the Palo Verde and Coachella valleys, will work with the City of Blythe and the Riverside County Economic Development Agency on the improvement project. At Supervisor Benoit’s request, DACE surveyed the center and identified $300,000 needed for the renovation.
“This is fantastic,” said Blythe Mayor Oscar Galvan. “It is good to see the County and City working together. This will be very beneficial to our seniors and their lunch program and hopefully we can get the work completed as soon as possible. I would like to thank all parties involved.”
The comprehensive remodeling will bring the kitchen up to commercial standards, adding a walk-in cooler and freezer, an upgraded stove hood with a fire protection system, stainless steel cabinets and cooking equipment. The electrical system, hot water heater and other appliances will be upgraded as well as the ceiling tile throughout the building.
The sidewalks and parking will be reconfigured to better accommodate disabled senior clients. Other amenities include flooring, energy-efficient fixtures, upgraded air conditioning and a refreshed exterior with landscaping.