Banta residents rally behind community center

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For more than 70 years, the Banta Community Hall has been the heart of this small Johnson County town.

Residents gathered to cast their ballots on Election Day. Generations of people celebrated weddings inside its walls and hosted barbecues or pitch-ins on summer weekends, and farmers would meet at harvest time to sort their crops.

So when a lack of funds threatened to close the small meeting room, a fierce sense of community motivated local residents to save it.

A group of concerned people have come together to save the Banta Community Hall. A benefit hog roast has allowed them to open the center back up, and improvements to the windows, interior and sidewalk have created the potential to host weddings, class reunions and other events.

With enough funds now to pay for heat and electricity until next summer, the nine-person community center board is forming a long-range plan to ensure the building remains standing.

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