The county’s 10 part-time senior centers will get their $2,000 back to pay for supplies like plates and cups, however that funding will come with some strings attached.
On Tuesday, the Cullman County Commission voted to provide the money from the county’s general fund, instead of the Cullman County Commission on Aging’s budget.
Earlier this month, Commission on Aging Director Dusty Baker announced the agency would no longer provide money for supplies to part-time centers because they weren’t county-owned. Baker said the satellite centers should rely on donations and funding from their municipalities.
The decision riled Baileyton Mayor Johnny Dyar, whose town boasts one of the largest part-time centers in the county.
Going forward, satellite senior centers will have to request funds from the commission, and commissioners will have final say on how much to give, Baker said. Officials are also exploring capping the requests.
The centers affected include : Baileyton, Center Hill, Cold Springs, Dodge City, Fairview, Good Hope, Hilltop, Jones Chapel, New Canaan and Simcoe.
Senior citizens gathered at Fairview’s part-time center Tuesday weren’t fazed by the change. Mary Vick said their center purchases its food supplies from the $1 each senior pays weekly to attend.
“We pay for everything we need ourselves,” Vick said as she played bingo with other local seniors.
Baker said most satellite senior centers are like Fairview and are self-sufficient while larger ones like Baileyton ask for funding to pay for supplies. Baileyton’s senior center uses three times the supplies as other part-time centers, he said.
The Commission on Aging has a $548,000 annual budget through the county commission. It provided nearly 36,000 congregate meals and approximately 27,000 delivered meals to seniors in 2014.
Tiffeny Owens can be reached by email at email@example.com or by phone at 256-734-2131.