February 27, 2006
Albany--The only senior center in east Albany will stay open for now. But services for senior citizens throughout southwest Georgia are about to be cut.
For several years, the James H. Gray Senior Center has struggled to stay open.
"It's upsetting to never know what's going to happen," says Kay Hind, director for the Council on Aging.
Today, the SOWEGA Council on Aging agreed to take short-term money from the city.
"The city's going to put up the money, and we're going to continue to operate until June 30," say Hind.
That comes as good news to Mildred Tyson who visits the center often.
"I just love to go. I've been going so long. It's like a second home," says Tyson.
However, if city commissioners don't agree to make the center a part of its annual budget, then the center will shut down for good.
"I know one or two of them, one especially who's on city commission, and he's pulling for us," says Tyson.
"As long as they fund it, and if they'll do it on a permanent basis, we'll continue to operate it," says Hind.
To help keep the east Albany center open, changes are coming for all the area's centers.
"Beginning in March, we're only going to open four days a week at all sixteen of our senior centers due to the budget cuts," says Hind.
For now, Mildred Tyson plans to continue visiting the center, and hopes the city will do everything in its power to keep the center open.
"I'd encourage them if they can do it," says Tyson.
The Council on Aging also found out late today the state is cutting $16,000 dollars they use to transport people to their centers. They're not sure yet how they'll deal with that shortfall.
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