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A place of their own

By Staff
Grant would fund new senior center
Clif Knight, Hartselle Enquirer
Hartselle's senior citizens could have a center of their own in the near future if municipal and county officials are successful in getting approval of a $250,000 Community Development Block Grant.
A letter of intent to apply for the grant and a local match commitment of $25,000 was approved by the Morgan County Commission at its last meeting.
District 2 Commissioner Richard Lyons said plans are to use the money to build an addition to Sparkman Civic Center for the exclusive use of seniors. It would have its own kitchen, office and storage room in addition to a larger meeting room. Currently, the Senior Center shares a meeting room and kitchen with other community groups and is able to accommodate only about 40 people.
Lyons and Hartselle Mayor Dwight Tankersley met with the seniors last week to get their input about present and future needs. What they learned was that the existing facility is lacking in a number of ways.
"I told them we have 35 to 40 people who use the facility and when we have 40 we don't have an empty chair left," Linda Carpenter, center manager, said. "Also, I have to take my records and paperwork home with me because I don't have a safe place here to keep them. We do the same thing with our games, equipment and handicraft supplies."
O'Neal Parker, president of the senior center council, said more space is needed to accommodate special events with entertainment and to meet the needs of a growing population of senior citizens.
"It's get crowded in here when we have entertainers with musical instruments," Parker said. "We also have to be careful about making noise because of other groups that are meeting across the hall.
"Smaller community such as Falkville, Somerville and Danville have their own senior centers. I think it's time we had one we can call our own."
Terry Acuff, a grant consultant for Hartselle, will handle the grant application. Letters of support from seniors will be included as a part of the grant request.