Officials highlight senior centers

With a new fiscal year comes project recommendations from the county's planning department, and the emphasis this year is on the area's senior centers.During a board of commissioners meeting Tuesday morning, Tracy D. Gerber, serving as Community Development Block Grant [CDBG] coordinator for the county, discussed several tentative projects."The Bennetts Valley Senior Center project is now finally out for bid and it's been several years in the making," said Gerber as she indicated advertisements for bids were first published Saturday.The Bennetts Valley Senior Center project carries a $119,198 price tag and consists of building a new senior center facility. The current building is believed to be inadequate and needs several expensive repairs and additional parking. The new center will reportedly be larger, with multiple rooms for activities and meetings. A multiyear process, the facility will also be used as a community center and disaster center in case of emergencies.Work totaling $14,802 will also be performed on the Johnsonburg Borough Community Center."The Johnsonburg Borough qualifies for the project, but we have to go by the percentage of people living in the borough, so they can only get 76 percent of the completed project cost," Gerber said. "A few years ago, we were able to replace the front porch of that building."There are 160 members of the Johnsonburg Borough Community Center, with 121 of them residing in Johnsonburg.Jones Township Senior Center submitted three separate projects for consideration; the rezoning of a heating system for $5,500; the addition of a cabinet/countertop for $1,500; and the removal/replacement of an existing door entrance, along with consulting fees totaling $7,000.While the anticipated project dollars for the year came in at $178,000, Gerber indicated Tuesday that an estimated $30,000 will go to the Elk County Housing Rehab program for the rehabilitation of individual residential low-income properties within the county."The 2011 application process was really an odd year," Gerber said. "We didn't receive a lot of applications and we don't really know the amount of money that we're going to be using."