Senior Services is a valuable asset to county

We, the Senior Services Board of Directors, would like to provide direct comments concerning our seniors program and the activities involving our county elected leadership and our Community Health. You have printed articles and recently, an editorial opinion, that does not clearly cover what has been accomplished through partnering with others.

First, our County Commission, Community Health Foundation, M4A and other state offices provide the finances that enable us to be responsive to the seniors in our county. The County Commissioners and the Community Health Foundation Board members should be proud of their leadership because we are truly proud of them. Our local support has been essential in helping us to meet the meals and transportation needs of the elderly throughout Shelby County.

The County is planning a new commercial kitchen to replace our present one in Columbiana that will enable us to continue meeting the nutritional goals of our program. One of your articles stated that the County Commission built the Senior Center at Heardmont Park. The County provided construction management services and funds for the park restrooms. It was the generous donations of private citizens and private sector corporations/businesses that built the Mary Ellen Estes Senior Community Center. The Estes Senior Community Center kitchen operates to cover a percentage of our county wide meals. The County is proud to be involved in such successful public/ private partnerships to develop services that can be available to senior citizens in our County and we look forward to future opportunities for the good of the older population of our county. The above summary comments do not give our appreciation for the members of the agencies who support Shelby Senior Services.

Secondly the cities and the community leaders are working to develop their individual programs. In particular, the cities of Alabaster, Calera and Montevallo are planning changes with their respective programs, including building initiatives. There is an opportunity for a large senior services amenity to be located at the future Alabaster Sports Complex on Highway 31 in the Saginaw area. There will be many meetings in the coming months to analyze the prospects of this senior initiative. Just in May, the County Commission initiated a new grant program to enhance senior community centers throughout county. This new grant program will assist the centers with repairs, renovations and additions.

We are proud to serve the Board and we look forward to developing partnerships with others. Our senior population is growing at the same tremendous rate as with out total county population