Senior Citizens’ Center control remains undecided

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By Ben Hyatt

A hazy cloud of uncertainty continues to lurk over the Senior Citizen’s Center as the Commission on Aging looks to other groups for relief.

A certain displeasured look fell upon the faces of the Commission on Aging board members as they were briefed on the little to no advancement of finding a new company to assume all responsibility of the center.

During the meeting, the board discussed future plans for the center and updates for turning the services over to another group.

Mayor Steve Moses informed the board that two parties are still interested in taking over the center.

However, no final works are currently on the table.

“Activity Day in Georgetown is no longer interested in taking over the center and providing the activities that we currently give,” explained Moses. “The only two still interested are Bluegrass Community Action Partnership and another party that is still keeping their name from public conversation.”

Commission on Aging Board Chairman Dr. Beth Laytart displayed a great deal of frustration when informed that plans continue to be delayed.

“This is taking too long,” said Laytart. “The staff and clients deserve an answer and it frustrates me that this seems like a never-ending loop.”

Other board members including Tommy Kearns and John Schreiber brought up the fact that not all clients using the facility will be happy when the center is governed by an outside source.

“Our clients have to be flexible and understand that the alternative is nothing at all,” said Laytart. “We are never going to make everyone happy. All we can do is ensure that the services we currently offer continue.”

Moses also brought forth the question of what the board’s purpose will be should it turn over the responsibility of the center to an outside party.

“Are we going to give up all voting power and just be a board to use as a reference for the party who takes over?” asked Moses. “These are questions we need to know before anything is final.”

The board agreed to again wait and take no action until more information could be learned about both parties interested in taking over.

“If we decided to just walk away, the services would be bid out and we would have no idea who would take over,” said Senior Citizen’s director Tracy Whitaker. “Sadly, we know no more than we did two months ago, but we will just have to wait until we know more.”

Whitaker also informed the board that she continues to pay on outstanding bills that have accumulated over the past several months.

As of June 20, the Senior Citizen’s Center had an outstanding bill balance of $39,509.57 according to the meeting minutes.

“As of Aug. 16 we show an outstanding balance of $28,671.04,” explained Whitaker. “I was able to pay-off some of the bills, but we still have some larger sums that are waiting to be paid.”

During the director’s report, Whitaker gave figures showing expected money that would be making its way to the center within the next month.

“We are expecting $28,720.91 in revenue in the next few months,” explained Whitaker. “I would love to pay that all toward the debt, of course I still have payroll so that can’t happen.”

Whitaker explained that employee hours have continued to be cut in order to allow her funds to pay the outstanding bills that have accumulated.

“Our payroll is down to roughly $7,000 each pay period,” said Whitaker. “We have either let people go, cut their hours or they have quit on their own.”

Whitaker said she will continue to pay the outstanding bills as quickly as possible.

“One of our bigger bills is Harrison Memorial and I would really like to pay that one off since they have been so good to us,” said Whitaker. “As the money comes in, I will get them paid.”

The next Commission on Aging meeting will take place on Monday Sept. 9 at the Senior Citizen’s Center.