Decorah has just about everything any rural community of similar size could possibly offer its citizens, with one notable exception: some type of community center.

That "hole" in the town's infrastructure has been debated for years - make that decades - and over that time several community center proposals have been explored and examined, but none of them have ever come to fruition for one simple reason: How will the construction and continual maintenance be paid for?

It's a question that must be addressed, and, hopefully, answered before any such project can seriously move forward. A lot of people are strongly in favor of building a recreation and wellness center, and there's no question it would be a tremendous asset for the entire Decorah area and even Winneshiek County for that matter, but trying to come up with the finances to properly support such a venture remains a major hurdle. Can it be cleared? Only time will tell.

The latest news on the subject is interesting and quite exciting, but the question of funding remains despite the recent enthusiasm.

The Decorah Park and Recreation Board recently hired Design Alliance of Waukee (at a cost of $14,500) to help the Board through the process of determining the community needs for such a center, and then designing a structure to meet those needs.

As reported in Decorah Newspapers Dec. 31, Design Alliance, which has been working closely with a 12-member local planning committee, has recommended a new $8 to $10 million facility to be built across the street - to the south - of Decorah's City Hall.

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