County funding may force Iowa senior center closure
Feb. 18, 2018
BURLINGTON, Iowa (AP) — A senior center in southeast Iowa may have to close due to a loss of funding from the county.
The Des Moines County Board of Supervisors agreed Tuesday on a list of cuts to make from proposed budget increases. The board ended up cutting out $12,000 requested by the Steamboat Senior Center in Burlington, the Hawk Eye reported .
Without the money to continue operating, "it's going to be pretty hard to keep this place going," said Helen Rawlings, the center's president.
"We won't be here very long then, I guess," Rawlings said. "I don't know where we're going to get the money."
The requested $12,000 is what the center's vice president, Marilyn Leight, estimated will be needed to cover the utility bills in the coming year. The center leases the building from the city of Burlington for free.
The center cost more than $1,500 last month to run, but it brought in less than $400 in revenue.
Golden Oldies events and card game fees were the center's biggest sources of revenue last month. Leight said the card game fee is a sore subject to talk about.
"We have to charge our seniors to play cards in the center because we need the money," she told supervisors in a budget hearing last month. "Every time someone comes in to play cards, we have to charge them a dollar."
Des Moines County gave the center $4,500 in fiscal 2016, and $1,500 last year, according to the county auditor's office. Supervisors said to completely eliminate the funding this past week.
"I can't see where we can do anything for something non-mandated," said Jim Cary, board chairman. "With the budget like this, we can't do anything for any non-mandated entities."
Information from: The Hawk Eye, http://www.thehawkeye.com