Ed Rohner
Ed Rohner
BREDA - The Breda American Legion is expanding into the former Zeke's restaurant space in the downtown of this northern Carroll County community.

Total estimated project cost is $100,000 to develop the facility that is expected to accommodate up to 500 people. The substantial completion is expected in February.

"We're excited about what we're headed for and looking for help to get there," said Ed Rohner, adjutant for the Fred F. and Norman J. Bruning American Legion Post 607.

Rohner spoke to the Carroll County Board of Supervisors Monday on behalf of the 116-member organization. The Legion asked the board for $10,000 in funding for next fiscal year.

The primary purpose for the facility will be to accommodate events such as weddings, reunions and meetings. But Rohner said the Legion also is developing a designated emergency/disaster shelter. During the ice storm of 2009 the Legion provided emergency housing for about 60 people for five days. During that time more than 200 meals were served to residents who were without power.

"I think you've stated pretty well what the public service will be," said Supervisor Neil Bock.

The Legion is also concerned that the presence of an empty adjacent building could have made it easier for thieves to breach the Legion, which has a significant collection of historical items. Then there's the issue of appearances for the business community as a whole in Breda, Rohner said in an interview.

"We don't have a lot of storefronts, and we can't have an empty one right next to us," Rohner said.

A signature feature of the Legion expansion will be placement of a 7-by-20-foot mural honoring the local Legion and all branches of the armed services.

The Legion has received $29,102 in donations and paid $63,583 in expenses to date. Much of the labor has been donated.

Those interested in donating to the project may send checks to: Breda American Legion Building Fund, Breda American Legion, P.O. Box 85, Breda, Iowa 51436.

The Legion purchased the former restaurant building from the city for $1.