Community could save senior center

Published 10:00 am Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Sybene Senior Center was more than just a building. It was more than just somewhere for senior citizens to have lunch. It was more than just a place to go.

The facility, having served eastern Lawrence County as a hub of activity for many years, was really like a townhall or city center you would see in Mayberry or other small-town America community in decades past.

It was a place for senior citizens to come for fellowship, activities to keep the mind and body sharp and just simply enjoy life among friends.

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Sadly this has ended, at least for now, although, the Ironton- Lawrence County Community Action Organization is working to keep the Ironton Senior Center open at Park Avenue Apartments.

Organization leaders say continued years of declining federal funding was the biggest factor and that the November 2011 defeat of a senior citizens levy by less than 1 percent wasn’t the key reason.

But it certainly didn’t help.

According to the county auditor’s office, the senior levy would have cost a taxpayer approximately $35 a year on a house with the marketable value of $100,000.

The levy would’ve generated $800,000 a year for the next five years. Although it was originally intended to help expand some of the senior services, the bottom line is some of this money could have been used to keep this center afloat.

We hope supporters revisit this levy or look at other ways to provide a place for our county’s seniors.

If this is on the ballot again, it will fall on us — as taxpayers who care about the quality of life for everyone in our county — to step up and do the right thing.