City ready to make grants from senior fund

by Emmitt B. Feldner of The Review staff

PLYMOUTH – The city has a new procedure in place to provide access to roughly $67,000 in funds donated over the years to the Plymouth Senior Center.

The City Council Tuesday approved a Senior Fund grant application form and procedure presented by the Committee on Aging.

“The city has a financial responsibility to see that these funds are distributed properly per the intentions of those persons who donated the money,” Alderperson David Williams, who chairs the Committee on Aging, explained to his council colleagues.

The money was donated or bequeathed to the city over the years when it operated the Senior Center. Now called the Plymouth Adult Community Center, it is located in the Generations building and the city contracts with the Plymouth Intergenerational Coalition to operate the center.

“The Committee on Aging would like to start making the funds available to groups who have projects for the city of Plymouth for seniors,” Williams said. He noted that programming and attendance at the PACC have increased since its move to Generations.

Williams said the PACC and PIC have established a Senior Advisory Committee to help oversee the center and programming, which he said the Committee on Aging is working closely with.

The grants would be for non-profit or governmental groups for activities or projects focused and directed at senior citizens.

The application form includes information about the activity or project, estimated cost, additional funds or donations for the project, a timeline for the project and information about how future maintenance and updates would funded.

Williams also pointed out that it requires recipients to provide a final report within 30 days of completion of the project.

Grant applications would be reviewed by the Committee on Aging for a recommendation to the City Council, which would have the final say.

Alderperson Jackie Jarvis asked whether the committee had set any priorities or guidelines for what could be funded by the grants.

“I think it would be a good idea to have a prioritized list, what projects would be ideal” she said. “Is it for core services? Is it just for people playing cards or rather than something for everyone?”

“It is our hope that the projects would be of a more permanent nature, something more substantial than say a trip to a baseball game,” Williams agreed.

“We would be upfront with whoever is requesting funds that that is a part of it. That will weigh a whole lot on their success or failure, on them getting any future money from the council,” Williams conceded.

At the same time, he added, “The committee wanted to keep it as open as possible, to try and encourage as much participation as possible and allow some latitude with projects, not dictate what kind of projects they can do.”

Williams said the city had provided new equipment for the PACC on its move to Generations out of the senior center funds – computers, furniture and such – and also provided a one-time $10,000 cash grant to help the center get up and running.

Williams said the Committee on Aging hopes to have the grant process up and running by January. Application forms would be available through the city clerk’s office.

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