Senior services may take cost cutting hit

Crump Community Center
Crump Community Center

Posted by Cody Holyoke - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - It's crunch time for department heads like Wiley Steen as they work with City Hall to squeeze every last dollar from the upcoming budget.

"The revenue's not there, and it's just tough to do it without letting people go, and that's what we don't want to do," Steen explained.

A bevy of proposals are on the table, including potentially selling parks and handing off senior services now funded by the City to a group like MACOA, The Montgomery Area Council on Aging.

"There's more than one agency serving this need and [we need to] look at maybe concentrating it all in one area," Steen explained.

The proposal--even in theory--doesn't sit well with some silver citizens.

"You just come in, and you feel the love and the way people care for you and everything about you and your family, and that makes such a difference," said Merle Haynes of Montgomery, who frequents the Crump Community Center.

In fact, nearly a dozen community centers host meetings and events.  Places like Crump, workers say, truly make a difference.

" They don't feel like they're such a burden to their family, because they're not at sitting at home doing nothing and wanting their children to take care of them," said Karen Whatley, Crump's Assistant Director.

Though even the mention of the altering the program seems drastic, city leaders want residents to know a senior service shutdown is not a priority.

"That's way down my list. That would be pretty much a last resort," Steen said.

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