|Senior Center to move to civic center
By Tom Marshall
Senior Advocate writer
Effective April 5, the Montgomery County Senior Citizens Center will officially move to the health and civic center on East Locust Street.
The Senior Citizens Center had previously been located in the former Trimble House at 302 W. Main St.
The Trimble House facility, like other senior centers throughout the Gateway region, has been closed to in-person activities since March 13, 2020, due to COVID-19 concerns, said Joshua Farrow, executive director for the Gateway Area Development District. The Jeffersonville Senior Citizens Center has also been closed since March of last year to in-person activity.
June 21, 2018, local representatives, the GADD and officials from the Dept. for Aging and Independent Living (DAIL) met and completed a walk-thru of the existing senior center facility, Farrow said.
The county had previously received a complaint regarding ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliance involving the facility.
During the June 2018 meeting several ADA issues were identified, Farrow said.
As a result, he said the Montgomery County Fiscal Court submitted two Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) grant applications over a period of two funding cycles.
After two unsuccessful attempts to secure funding to make necessary modifications and repairs to the facility, the GADD worked with county and DAIL officials to identify an alternate senior center location, Farrow said.
That ultimately led to the decision to move the facility to the civic center.
Until April 5, seniors, ages 60 and older, will continue to receive meals at the current location from 11:30-noon each Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, excluding inclement weather days and holidays, the GADD announced in a release.
Meals are not provided on Wednesdays or weekends.
As the Jeffersonville Nutrition Center has remained closed participants in the Camargo-Jeffersonville area have been encouraged to visit the Montgomery County Senior Center to pick up a meal through the drive-thru service.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, meals are, and will continue to be distributed in a drive-thru manner at the current and future senior center sites, the release said.
Seniors will not be able to congregate at the new center because of social distancing guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, county officials told the Advocate.
The GADD will pay the county rent for use of the facility. It will also have use of an office at the civic center to serve the senior center director, county officials said.
Farrow announced the new location at a Fiscal Court workshop March 2.
Judge-Executive Wally Johnson welcomed the news.
Johnson told the Advocate the civic center will be more accessible to local seniors and has much more parking available.
Farrow noted for the Fiscal Court the civic center is within walking distance to Adena Trail and the Farmers’ Market. He added there is also public transportation available to the civic center from locations throughout the county.
Farrow told the court that he believes the move will help the center grow by being located in a newer, more modern facility.
Throughout the pandemic, the existing center typically served about 15 seniors, peaking to about 20 during the summer, Farrow said.
Of the five counties the GADD serves, Farrow said Montgomery County has the fourth largest senior population served. Menifee County has the most, he said, followed by Morgan, Rowan, Montgomery and Bath counties.
Menifee County normally serves 50 to 60 seniors, he said.
Farrow said that may be because the GADD’s regional kitchen is located in Frenchburg. The meals are kept in heated containers until they are delivered to the outlying counties.
Frozen meals are delivered to homebound individuals by the GADD.
The civic center facility will also be open to seniors from Jeffersonville and Camargo for meals, Farrow said.
As for the existing Trimble House facility, the future remains somewhat uncertain.
The facility is partially funded by a trust established by the Finneran Foundation named for the family that once resided there.
The foundation established a $75,000 trust in which the interest is to be used for upkeep of the house, Johnson said.
The funding comes with the caveat that the house be used as a senior citizens center.
Johnson said management of the house would return to the foundation if it is no longer used as a senior citizens center, but he said he was unsure who is currently in charge of the foundation.
The last he knew, Johnson said, the closest Finneran heir lived somewhere in the northeast.
It would also be up to the foundation what would be done about two residents who currently rent an apartment at the house, he said.