Columbiana should delay senior building

Dear Editor,

Our mayor and our city council (with the exclusion of Tom Seale) voted to re-do the old Shelby County Health Department building for a senior citizen building.

First off, let me say I am glad the seniors will have a nice new meeting place, but at what price?

The renovations of this building will cost approximately $650,000, of which the City of Columbiana has pledged $250,000 according to one council person.

The county is paying for some, and we have a federal grant for some. I was told you could tear the existing building down and build a new one much cheaper than $650,000. I asked our City Council person why Columbiana wasn’t going to do this — it’s because the federal grant money is tied to re-doing an existing building. The seniors are now meeting at the Columbiana Recreational Building. I called there today, and we have approximately 15 to 20 people a day enjoy this building.

If you take the high average of 20 people and divide it into $650,000, our city is spending $32,500 on each person that will use this new facility. The economy is tough right now. Can we really afford to spend this kind of money? Do our 20 seniors need this new meeting place? Why can’t they continue to meet at the recreation building?

We have many, many empty buildings in Columbiana because of the economy. I just think we need to keep the money we do have, to pay our police and whatever else comes along. Hard times are here.

Susan Conn