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Williamston Senior Center receives funds to grow

Posted at 6:07 AM, Apr 10, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-10 06:07:15-04
  • Video shows Williamston Area Senior Center members at an Ingham Country Board of Commissioners Meeting on Tuesday.
  • Staff plans to move the senior center from The Commons to a bigger location.
  • Multiple members of the senior center spoke in front of commissioners to ask for funding.

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

"We wanted something we could call our own."

Julie Rudd is the Executive Director of the Williamston Area Senior Center, which has been on the third floor of The Commons for almost a decade.

Now, she and her staff are pushing for a new building.

"We had 62 people in here, it was jam packed, Rudd said. "So we had to take a wait list, we had to turn some seniors away."

Julie says this space is too small, the elevator often doesn't work, and noted safety concerns as well as non-handicap accessible bathrooms and doors, and potholes in the parking lot.

"There are a lot of challenges for a senior center in this building. I think this building has potential for a lot of things, not necessarily a senior center," Rudd told me.

Those concerns came forward at an Ingham County Board of Commissioners meeting, Tuesday.

Several neighbors spoke in favor of a proposition that would deliver $750,000 to help the senior center move to the old Merindorf building in Williamston.

"I'm speaking for not just myself but for many other people, for those that come to the senior center that have to use wheelchairs, walkers, canes, and so forth. And for those who don't come because they have to use them, and our facility is so hard to get into," said one member.

NIESA Chief Michael Yanz emphasized safety concerns.

"If we were to have a fire there, Id have a lot of concerns about how we'd get the senors down. Down the steps, the fire escape," Yanz said.

Commissioners passed an amendment to match 50% of the $750,000.

The senior center still has to present $375,000 to make the move to the new building. Julie says they have $364,000 raised in a bank account, and theyve got enough funds in a saving account to reach the $375,000.

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