Seniors worried city will take Senior Center for office space - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Seniors worried city will take Senior Center for office space

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

Seniors in Johnson County are worried that city leaders will take away the Senior Center in Iowa City, and use it for office space.

This comes after the city formed a senior ad-hoc committee to reevaluate the center's accomplishments and obstacles.

The Senior Center has been promoting wellness and growth for adults over the age of 50 for more than three decades.

“This is my space, this is my space, this is a senior's space, this is where you can come down and be old in peace,” said Mary Gravitt who has uses the facility daily. “This is where people can come together and feel comfortable.”

However, Gravitt says city leaders plan to take away her place of comfort, so we took her concerns straight to Iowa City council member Rick Dobyns.

“It depends on what we need, we may have to renovate the area for more use of seniors or if it needs to be worked for other areas that might be a possibility.”

Dobyns says they formed the senior ad-hoc committee to identify any obstacles interfering with the city's ability to better serve the senior population, but some seniors aren't buying it.

“I can’t understand why they'd even bring it up,” said Irene Bowers who uses the center every day. “My whole life is spent down here.”

The committee consists seven members including city leaders and community members that knows about senior services.

Currently, the center offers many programs and services that support wellness, social interaction, and community engagement.

“Because of recent state changes in terms of municipal funding, the city of Iowa City and other cities now have less resources,” said Dobyns.

He says because of that city is reevaluating their financial abilities to provide more or different services.

“It could stay exactly how it is right now, but there’s always an option of change.”

Dobyns says the committee is still assessing the center's operations, but would not rule out the possibility of the facility being used for something else.

“There's just no place like it,” said Mildred Lombard. “We better not ever see the day that it closes.”

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