Meeting set to focus on senior citizens center

BROWNSTOWN — Would the residents of Brownstown support the reopening of the community’s senior citizens center and would some be willing to give of their time to help out there?

Town resident Terry Jackson hopes to find some answers to those questions and others by holding a public meeting at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 18 at the center, 124 S. Main St., Brownstown.

Jackson said the purpose of the meeting is to see if there is any interest in reopening the center at some point in the future.

“As you know, it takes a lot of volunteers to run the center and have people come in,” he said. “I don’t know if there is any funds to pay a director. I don’t think there are funds to do that, so we would be starting from scratch to see what the possibilities are. We would have to start out with volunteers.”

The center is owned by the town, but no one has used it as a place for seniors to gather and socialize since before the COVID-19 pandemic. The town does rent the building out on occasions.

Jackson said the meeting would likely start with a meal of same type with perhaps donated food.

“It’s always good to have food to get people to come to a meeting,” he said.

Jackson said the idea would be to have the center open in the morning and stay open through lunch and into the early afternoon Monday through Friday. There’s also a possibility that it might be open in the evening those days.

“Seniors nowadays like myself still work, and daytime wouldn’t be good for us to go to the senior site,” he said. “Maybe in the afternoon or evening to get with other seniors, drink coffee or play cards.”

Jackson said he just doesn’t want to see the building sit empty too long.

“I would hate for that nice building, dedicated in the early ’60s to seniors, to not be used for that work,” he said.

The council voted 4-0 on a motion by Councilwoman Sharon Koch to allow the meeting.

In an unrelated matter, the council voted 4-0 to obtain a 10-year loan to help fund capital expenditures, such as expansion of Fairview Cemetery, new playground equipment at the town park, water fixtures for the town pool and new police cars.

The loan of just under $400,000 would be repaid with a property tax rate of 5 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The loan also would include fees of $15,000 each for Reedy Financial Group in Seymour and Indianapolis law firm Barnes and Thornburg LLP for their work to secure it. The town will solicit bids from banks willing to loan the money in an effort to secure the lowest interest rate available.

County Building Commissioner Conner Barnette also notified the council that county commissioners no longer wished to continue an interlocal agreement with the town.

Under that agreement, first put in place in 2018, Barnette also had been serving as the building commissioner for the town. He said the decision came about because the county planning and zoning office had recently taken on some additional responsibilities, including the judicial center and courthouse.

Koch thanked Barnette for his work over the past three years.

“No problem,” Barnette said. “You know, we’re right across the road. Whichever direction you decide to go, we’re more than happy to answer any questions any time.”