Macon-Bibb senior center plans undecided | News
Some senior citizens say Macon-Bibb commissioners are dragging their feet instead of building a new senior center or renovating the current one on Adams Street.
In April, seniors told 13WMAZ they felt "overlooked" and "forgotten" when county commissioners used SPLOST money to build a new animal shelter before improving the senior center.
Commissioners never made it to the center for a planned tour two months ago after running out of time touring other county buildings.
"I think we need a new center, more space," Leroy Thomas, a regular at the senior center, said.
But Thomas says Macon-Bibb commissioners are only throwing around the idea of a new or improved senior center without actually drawing up a plan.
"Not enough and not fast enough," he said. "We are seniors. That doesn't mean we are morons."
He says it's a gathering place for many.
"This is therapy for a lot of people without going to the chiropractor or the doctor, the trainer or whatever. People come here five days a week."
Commissioner Al Tillman, who chairs the facilities and engineering committee, toured the center last week.
"It's very small, very crowded rooms and we have over 200 seniors down there," Tillman said. "I wouldn't want my mother or grandmother or parent to be in a small, cramped facility."
He says it's time the $2 million in SPLOST money set aside for the center is put to use.
"What I would propose to all the commissioners and the administration is let's go ahead and make a decision," Tillman said. "Let's get a building that's already available, let's renovate it, make it state-of-the-art, let's go ahead and satisfy our seniors."
Thomas says he wants seniors to have a say.
"Input," he said. "We may not have impact, but input into the decision-making. Without input from us, there will be things that will be done that won't benefit us at all. Just a new building isn't a benefit."
Some seniors say it's more about fellowship than framework.
"I think they're looking at it different than I'm looking at it," Vivian Campbell said. "The building doesn't make the place. the people make the place."
But to Thomas, it's a fight for the future.
"Lest we forget, if we live, we all will be seniors," he said.
Tillman says the commission is looking at the possibility of moving seniors into existing buildings like the Macon Health Club.