Senior grant program is the right solution

IT’S A SOLUTION THAT should satisfy everyone involved. Over the decades that the city operated the Plymouth Senior Center, numerous patrons of the center either donated or bequeathed monetary gifts to the center. In addition, the c enter raised money through various events and efforts over the years.

The funds were kept separate, dedicated solely for the center, and were used over the years for various purposes, chiefly to purchase new furniture and equipment when deemed necessary or desirable.

When the new Generations inter-generational center became a reality a few years ago, the senior center – now called the Plymouth Adult Community Center – was a key initial tenant of the building.

At about the same time, it became more economically feasible for the city to cease operating the center as a city department and contract with the Plymouth Intergenerational Coalition to run the center.

Friction arose over the accumulated senior center fund - how it was to be used, what it was to be used for and who would control it.

Bitter accusations and rumors flew that the city was attempting to seize the fund and use it for its own purposes – which was never farther from the truth.

The city has kept the fund segregated and untouched, and now the city’s Committee on Aging has developed a procedure that should ensure the fund – now close to $67,000 – will be used only for its original intentions.

The City Council last week approved a Senior

Fund grant application procedure developed by the Committee on Aging to handle future appropriations from the segregated fund.

The grants will be made to non-profit or governmental groups for activities or projects focused and directed at senior citizens. The Committee on Aging would make a recommendation on each grant application to the City Council, which would have final approval.

PIC and the PACC have established a Senior Advisory Committee to oversee operations at the former senior center, and Alderperson David Williams notes that the new committee is working closely with the Committee on Aging on center issues, including the grant process.

The groups have helped the PACC grow in its numbers and programming, which is truly welcome and encouraging.

All of that augurs well for the future of the PACC and its relations with the city.

The grant process ensures that the money donated and raised over the years won’t be frittered away or wasted, but will be directed toward projects that truly benefit the older citizens that were the intended recipients of the funds.

The size of the grant fund should encourage interested parties and groups to come with innovative and useful projects and programs to expand the PACC and other efforts aimed at senior citizens. And that should make everyone happy.

At issue:
City’s senior center fund
Bottom line:
Grants right way to handle it

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