Sunset Haven’s 40th celebrated


Sunset Haven 40th

Photo by Clarke Davis
Mayor Charles Stutesman presents Paul Heinen with a plaque recognizing his more than 40 years as the administrator of the Valley Falls Housing Authority. The plaque will be placed next to a tree that will soon be planted near Sunset Haven.


by Clarke Davis
A small group gathered Sunday afternoon to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the public housing complex known as Sunset Haven in Valley Falls.
Mayor Charles Stutesman took the podium to recognize the city leaders 40 years ago who saw a problem and spent more than eight years working on a solution.
“This has had a tremendous impact on the community,” the mayor said, noting that it relieved a severe housing shortage and made a good home for a lot of people over the years.
He recalled that Administrator Paul Heinen had been cautioned that the place would be “junk” in 40 years, but with the many improvements it stands today in excellent condition.
“It’s in good shape because of the vision and oversight of Paul [Heinen] and the board members,” he said, stating that in the six years he has been mayor he knew it was being well cared for.
Stutesman presented Heinen with a plaque on behalf of himself and the city council recognizing Heinen’s more than 40 years as the administrator. He said the city intends to plant a tree in Heinen’s honor near Sunset Haven and install the plaque near the tree.
One overlooked impact the mayor said the housing complex had on the town he learned about when he moved to the community. He heard a man who was raised in the country say that Sunset Haven was “the greatest thing that ever happened.”
Inquiring as to why he felt that way, he was told: “Because it had an elevator. We’d come to town just to ride that.”
The mayor recognized Irene Hurst, wife of the late Paul Hurst, who was mayor when the building was dedicated July 4, 1975.
Heinen reviewed the history of the low-rent housing complex and recognized three of the residents who had been at Sunset Haven the longest, Edna Jackson, Mary Courter, and Nona Polly Schneider, and the eldest tenant, Mary Huffman.
The Authority board members are Geraldine Metzger, Denise Streeter, Nona Schneider, Lisa Cook, and James Clulo.
They served refreshments catered by Jo Tichenor of Aahh Some Blossom.
The Rev. Melody Kimbrel, of the United Methodist Church, gave the invocation.

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Posted by on Jul 29 2015. Filed under Featured, Valley Falls. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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