Sunday, February 29, 2004

Trustees disturbed by senior concerns

By Jennifer Edwards
The Cincinnati Enquirer

ANDERSON TWP. - Trustees plan to ask operators of the Anderson Senior Center to publicly explain recurring complaints that the facility is deteriorating.

The center, a LifeSphere Community Program, has leased a building off Beechmont Avenue from the township for $1 a year since the late 1980s.

But after a resident raised several concerns late Thursday during the monthly township meeting, trustees agreed the matter needed immediate attention.

"I don't think we are going to have a senior center much longer because no one will come," Hope Hall, 76, told them.

"This is not the first time this has come to the board's attention," Trustee Peggy Reis responded. "We are well aware of your concerns."

Specifically, Hall complained a van service is reduced and now requires a mandatory fee instead of donations. Hall also said all classes such as exercise and dance now require a $3 fee per course instead of donations; the quality of food has declined and an advisory board has been eliminated so "there is no way to express any opinions."

Anderson Senior Center serves Anderson Township, California, Mount Washington, Newtown and Terrace Park, but also draws a significant number of people from neighboring Clermont County.

Anderson Senior Center Director Pat Miller said Friday most of the complaints were unfounded. Membership has steadily increased over the past decade, with 1,300 members now enrolled, close to an all-time high, she noted.

Courses and van services still operate on a donation basis, she stressed.

"Everything is a suggested donation," she said. "Usership is definitely not down."

Some increased charges for parties and other events were necessary to reflect the economy, she acknowledged.

"Entertainment costs have gone up just like electricity and everything else has gone up," she said, adding that the advisory board is being revamped and will be launched again soon.


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