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Beatty weary of financial support for senior center

BEATTY — They said “no” without saying actually saying “no.”

Beatty Town Advisory Board members are evidently not ready to give the town Senior Center thousands of dollars to keep the center open without evidence that the project council is making real progress toward becoming financially sustainable.

The board held a special meeting June 6 to address a request for funding from the Senior Center. The request was for either $40,000 outright or for $4,576 in grant-matching money for congregate meals and a similar or lesser amount for home-delivered meals.

Board members balked at shelling out the money without evidence that the project council had made progress on things that were suggested the last time they asked for and received money from the town.

Asked whether the council stood on applying for 501-3c nonprofit status, Marty Campbell said, “The paperwork is still in progress.”

Asked whether they had contacted companies and organizations on a list they were given as sources of possible donations or grants, Campbell said a new board member had expanded on the list, and that they were working on drafting a letter.

Asked whether they had applied for a Caesar’s Foundation Grant, as suggested, Campbell said he had heard nothing about it.

Board treasurer Erika Gerling chided the project council for lack of progress. “Everything is ‘we’re going to, we’re going to; we’re working on it, we’re working on it.’ We need to get something done.”

Board member Crystal Summers echoed Gerling’s sentiments, saying that all they ever heard was “we’re in the process, we’re in the process.”

Another complaint from the board was the lack of evidence or documentation of progress. They said they had not received budgets, minutes, or answers to questions regarding any actions.

Gerling said that the town had already been proactive in helping the Senior Center. This included such things as helping with administrative paperwork, paying overtime to have the Community Center custodian do the cleaning at the Senior Center, assuming the cost of garbage disposal.

Campbell said that everything the Project Council did to try to raise money, “comes back to bite us in the butt. We don’t get the support, or we don’t meet the criteria.”

Campbell noted that the Senior Center had to shut down its thrift store because the building had never been transferred over to the Senior Center.

When the funding request came up for a vote, it died for lack of a motion, so no action was taken.

Summers encouraged Campbell, “Don’t give up on the Senior Center, and don’t think we’re giving up on you.”

Gerling said that he could come back at a future meeting, perhaps the regular meeting on June 13, and if he could provide “evidence of forward movement, it would go a long way.”

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