Ammann asks council for partnership ideas

Robert Ammann from Elderbridge addressed the Hawarden City Council Wednesday, March 13.

HAWARDEN—Elderbridge is seeking a partner — a “going concern” or “viable organization” — that will contract and operate the meal program for the seniors in Hawarden.

Robert Ammann addressed the Hawarden City Council during its regular meeting Wednesday, Feb. 27. He is the director of healthy aging programs Elderbridge Agency on Aging based in Fort Dodge. 

“It is impossible for me to have connections in 29 counties to recruit volunteers for every meal program; I just can’t do it,” Ammann said.

Elderbridge provides the funding for Hawarden’s dinner date as well as the community Meals on Wheels program. Ammann said the goal is to turn over the funding they have for the program to a local entity — a church, service club, rotary, the city, the senior citizens group — someone to take over the funding and oversight of the meal program.

“One of the risks that is run if the meal site participation picks up, which we want it too, then the budgeted amount is probably too low,” Ammann said. “Now I have worked 12 years here and any over-budgeted meal participants we have covered it.”

Ammann told council there are always uncertainties, but in his experience the funds have been covered. Another uncertainty is the amount of people using the program, higher numbers of people receiving services are something he encourages to help keep the program running.

“Our meal sites are dropping in numbers nationwide,” Ammann said. “People that are 65 may not have any desire to use the services. Recruiting volunteers — people invested in the community -— have a better way to go about that, same with outreach. You all have your finger on the pulse of this community, I don’t and I’m hoping you can help point us in the right direction.”

The council listened to Ammann’s plea for help in finding an entity who would be interested and agreed the program is important to the seniors residing in Hawarden.

“It is an extremely important program to the seniors in this community,” Ammann said. “Thanks to the community of Hawarden, you have supported the program for several years.”

“We have great volunteers here,” said Mayor Ric Porter.

“Exactly,” Ammann said. “It would fall apart without them.”

Ammann left an application with the council to give to any group that may be interested. For further information, contact the city or e-mail Sandi Iwen, Elderbridge representative at

Other matters

In other matters, the council:   

Heard from city administrator Mike DeBruin that the city is accepting applications for the economic development director position. The job description and listing is posted on the city website for anyone interested. 

Heard from police chief Corey Utech that the Hawarden Police Department is looking into grant options for possibly purchasing some LED stop signs as well as a few digital speed signs, much like the ones placed in Ireton.

Approved a request from Brian Engleman to transfer the Golf Course Clubhouse liquor license to the Hawarden Community Center on Saturday, March 23.

Approved a request from Luverne Supermarket Inc., Sunshine Foods for renewal of Class C beer permit and Class B wine permit for off-premise sales of beer and wine with Sunday sales.