Montevallo seeks senior center grant

A new senior citizen center could be in the future for Montevallo.

Phillip Roth of Roth McHugh & Associates conducted a public hearing on behalf of the City Council in June for a Community Enhancement grant through the Alabama Department of Economic Affairs for the purpose of building the new center.

This year marks the second try by the city to secure a grant to build a senior citizen center.

The proposed center would be a $275,000 project funded by a $250,000 grant with a $25,000, 10 percent match by the city, Roth said.

Montevallo Mayor Grady Parker said Roth previously helped the city with grants for sewer improvements and a walking trail.

He said the city has asked him to help them with this one as well.

Roth said the city applied for a grant to build the senior center last year but was not funded.

This year, he said, the city will re-apply.

According to Roth, the application will be submitted in the next 30 days and will include a preliminary architect’s sketch plan.

The hearing for the Community Development Block grant application in the Community Enhancement category was held prior to the start of the regular council meeting and was attended by several interested senior citizens.

Joyce Bridges, who attended the public hearing, said the seniors would like to thank the city for &uot;what it trying to do and what it has done.&uot;

However, she said, the seniors wish for &uot;a better, more cheerful place with windows.&uot;

Sue Tedford, director of Shelby County Senior Services, said of the city’s efforts to build a new senior center, &uot;I think it is a wonderful idea &045; absolutely wonderful.&uot;

Tedford stressed, &uot;We appreciate what Montevallo has done (providing the use of a building at Orr Park), but it is time for Montevallo to provide a new place for the seniors to meet.&uot;

She explained the current meeting place for seniors is a large, open area &uot;Butler-type&uot; building which is too large and dark and has no windows.

In addition, she said, the building is used by others.

According to Tedford, if the seniors put up a quilt, someone else can take it down.

As a result, she said, &uot;(The seniors) need a building of their own.&uot;

&uot;I think Montevallo definitely needs to do this and provide a better meeting place for the senior citizens of Montevallo,&uot; Tedford said.

&uot;Montevallo was built by these people who made it what it is today, and I think they need to be taken care of.&uot;

Catherine Legg, administrative assistant for the city of Montevallo, said the proposed site of the new senior center is at the corner of Vine and Alabama next to the park building at Orr Park.

She also said the new center will be about a 2,300 square foot structure.

Tedford said the senior services program for all of Shelby County is growing by &uot;leaps and bounds.&uot;

She said it will be her recommendation to the Shelby County Senior Services Board of Directors that the next senior services facility be opened to serve the Chelsea area.

At present, the closest place for Chelsea seniors to attend is Heardmont, she said