New senior center hits snag

Monday, May 10, 2004

The proposed new senior center in Jackson is not moving as fast as some would like, but building committee chairman Lester Maevers said that it will get done.

Maevers said the rub came when the committee received an initial round of bids on the project that were higher than originally expected. The goal now is work the plans down to get the price tag back to the $600,000 mark.

"We don't want to cut down on the size," Maevers said. "We're going to try to cut back on some things inside."

The project is currently planning for a 7,000-square-foot building on East Main Street. Maevers said reducing the square footage would defeat the purpose of replacing the current center on Washington Avenue.

The committee has set June 3 as its deadline for accepting a bid and formulating a concrete timeline to get the building going this year.

"We're going to get it done," Maevers said.

Meanwhile, just beside that plot that is awaiting the shovels for the new senior center is a new senior living establishment that is just about ready to open.

Chad Hartle of RCH Development Inc. said the Jackson Senior Garden Apartments II are ready to accept the first tenants next week. This $3 million project at 2900 E. Main is Hartle's fourth senior residence in Jackson. His company also developed the Jackson Villa, Jackson Senior Estates and, of course, the original Jackson Senior Garden Apartments. The sequel consists of 30 two-bedroom apartments, 75 percent of which have already been leased.

Up and trucking: As part of a former husband-wife trucking team, Louise Getts knows the stress that truck drivers endure during their extended absences from home. That's why she and partner David Larson decided to start Driver's Advantage Services, which uses Web and cell phone technology to keep drivers in the loop on their at-home affairs.

Getts said her company provides mail processing, record keeping and bonded bill paying and tax preparation services. In addition to the financial service, Getts said, her company can also handle some "unique custom services." In one instance, one of Getts' clients had the misfortune of owning a motion-sick dog. Unable to make the trips with its owner, Getts found the dog a home.

For more information, look Getts up on the Internet at www.driversadvantageservices. com.

TNT ready to be set off: Dave Pearce has announced that he is ready to open TNT Choppers on Route 146 in East Cape Girardeau, Ill. The store and bike shop will sell Independence and Big Mike's Choppers, as well as motorcycle gear, parts and accessories. In the shop, Pearce said, he will service Harley-Davidson and American V-Twins, and do custom and high-performance work on bikes.

Pearce said that the new bridge was a big part of his decision to open his shop on the east bank because it makes the location much more accessible to his prospective customers. Pearce said he will be set to rev up and open on May 17.

Factory Direct in Oran: Since March 1, Rick Irwin has been churning portable storage buildings out of his new plant off Highway 91 outside Oran, Mo. The plant is called Factory Direct Portable Buildings, a division of Stockade Buildings. As the title implies, Factory Direct manufactures and distributes its product directly to the customer.

Irwin said that the demand for his type of portable buildings is on the rise because they're being accepted for different uses. He also said his market now covers a 200-mile radius.

Strickland set to celebrate: Strickland Engineering in Jackson is set to celebrate its 25th anniversary Tuesday with an open house. The event will start at 3 p.m. at Strickland's home for the past two years, the newly renovated Sanders building on the courthouse square. The company handles electrical, mechanical and civil engineering, as well as land surveying. The open house will incorporate the Jackson Chamber of Commerce's Business After Hours, which begins at 5 p.m. Events will wrap up at 7 p.m.

Owner Tom Strickland said he's looking forward to the event.

"After 25 years, it's time to take a couple hours and celebrate," he said.

DirecTV launches local channels: On May 4, digital television provider DirecTV launched a satellite from an equatorial location in the Pacific Ocean. That satellite will bring local broadcast channels to its customers in Cape Girardeau, Paducah, Ky., and 40 other markets in the United States. The 12,063-pound hunk of high-tech metal will use spot-beam technology to shoot more than 400 channels to our area.

Tony Rehagen is the business editor for the Southeast Missourian. Send your comments, business news, information or questions to Tony Rehagen, 301 Broadway, Cape Girardeau, Mo. 63702-0699, e-mail trehagen@semissourian. com or call 335-6611, extension 137.

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