West Allis Senior Center not closing, council members ask to study plan instead

NOW: West Allis Senior Center not closing, council members ask to study plan instead

WEST ALLIS, WIs. (CBS 58) -- There will be more discussion before any action is taken on the West Allis Senior Center.

After many residents feared its closing in July, city leaders say they are going to consider their options.

Senior Center members poured out their hearts for council leaders inside city hall Wednesday night.

“In the building there’s everything you need, there’s an exercise room, craft room. There’s a computer room," member Robert Roy said.

“This is a place we look forward to and go at least a few times a week," added member Carol Haass.

Leaders told residents that there was a misunderstanding with the resolution on tonight’s agenda.

Instead of “relocation and consolidation of operations” by July 1, council members will now direct staff to “prepare a plan for the future” with community partners.

Mayor Dan Devine said the Council plans to see what other communities are doing and talk more to the seniors.

“There’s a Milwaukee County Senior Lunch program that is very well attended there and it’s important for those people to get that meal," member Ken Figie said.

The Council is also trying to save money where it can.

Estimated renovations to the Center are in the millions, and the Council is currently working to cut every city department budget by three to five percent.

But tonight, the seniors told leaders that their Center is vital to them and valuable in connecting them to resources.

“It’s not just a Center it’s a family. We all have our own little niches that make us feel important and at our ages having some place to go, where you’re somebody," member Carol Graham.

“They might sit and listen to a movie, they might crochet, but they come to the Senior Center to do all of these things. Fragmenting the services is not the answer," member Mary Devitt said.

The Center’s director, Denise Keonig, said she's very happy about tonight’s clarification and future discussions.

The Council wants a plan by July 1.

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