Senior Center Overcomes Operating Deficit

Rosie Walters, Director of Salina’s Senior Services, updated Saline County Commissioners on the program’s first year of finances, since it began operating as a county department.  While records have yet to be audited, Walters said that when all revenues and expenses are considered, the reorganized program operated close to the $330,000 budget set for it.  Walters also described two separate fund raising efforts in 2018 that raised an additional $102,000 in donations.

Previously, the center operated independently; one member of the Saline County Commission attended board meetings.  Current County Chairman Robert Vidricksen said that under the previous arrangement, that governing board found themselves $150,000 in debt.  Commissioners agreed that the county could help with certain expenses—like payroll, audit, lawn care, etc. and could provide administrative oversight.

As current concerns, Walter told commissioners that the patched roof continues to leak.  Seniors struggle with using downstairs bathrooms (which were grandfathered in from Americans with Disabilities Act requirements).  Vidricksen responded that it “sounds like we need to fix the roof” and “ADA can’t wait”.  The county’s capital improvement funds would likely be used.

Senior Services purchases food and supplies from Aladdin.  Walters has been approached about signing a 5 year commitment with Aladdin.  In return, Aladdin would place a 32 square foot electronic sign by the center.  Walters said it could be used to promote upcoming events.

Walters spoke about of using the donations raised as matching funds for additional grants she hopes to write.

The Commission requested that Walters re-present her report during the televised portion of a future meeting.