The St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners has agreed to work with an Ohio-based firm to prepare a study of potential locations for a new senior center.
As a result of last week’s vote by commissioners, Lifespan Design Studio will evaluate three potential locations for a new Sturgis senior center.
The $11,000 approved for the undertaking will provide commissioners opinions from a company with experience and credibility in such tasks, county officials said.
Options under consideration are a new facility adjacent to the Doyle Community Center on the east side of town, partial modification of the Sturges-Young Auditorium or refurbishing a former grocery store.
A report on Lifespan’s findings will be yielded later this year either to county administrator Pat Yoder or the five-member commission itself.
The Community Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Board of St. Joseph County has issued a notice regarding its annual public hearing next month.
Though the public is invited to attend any monthly meeting, the September meeting is typically when clients and the public attend to provide feedback or raise issues regarding services and all other relevant matters pertaining to the Centreville-based agency.
The meeting location is at a different site and not at the Centreville office. The St. Joseph County Commission on Aging Community Room in Three Rivers will be the venue for the public hearing. It will start at 5 p.m. Sept. 23 and will also include a budget proposal for the 2013-14 fiscal year.
A consultant to review possible locations for a senior center in the Sturgis area is being considered by the St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners.
Though no action on the matter was taken during Tuesday’s meeting, commissioners during last week’s executive committee meeting heard from Lynn Coursey, Commission on Aging director. She said senior-center development is a niche market and stressed the importance of utilizing a site consultant familiar with senior needs.
Coursey said working with local architects and builders also is a strong attribute when considering a consultant.
At least three different sites within Sturgis are on the table as potential locations.
Commissioner Rick Shaffer said the matter should be deferred to the county’s building authority, whose members could discuss the issue and offer a recommendation to the board.
Members of the St. Joseph County Commission on Aging have agreed to urge the county’s board of commissioners to move forward with plans for a proposed senior center in Sturgis.
During their meeting last week, COA board members discussed the proposed Sturgis location and agreed it is needed as a replacement for the current facility on North Jefferson Street.
County Commissioner Allen Balog, who serves as the county liaison to the COA board, indicated he would report the request to his peers.
The county board doesn’t meet again until Aug. 6
Margaret Shultz has been elected as chairperson of the St. Joseph County Commission on Aging (COA) Board of Directors.
Shultz, former Community Resources Coordinator for the Department of Human Services (DHS) in St. Joseph and Cass counties, retired from that position last July after 38 years with DHS. She is now serving in a part-time capacity as the Volunteer Services Specialist for the St. Joseph County United Way and has been vice-chairperson of the COA Board in recent months. She succeeds Jean Skalski, another DHS retiree and veteran COA Board member who chose not to seek appointment to another term.
Other officers elected during the COA Board’s June meeting Wednesday (June 19) are:
Jon Withers, vice-chair
Charles Willer, treasurer
Deb Leyes, secretary.
The meeting also brought recognition of Skalski and two other longtime COA Board members who are stepping down after many years of service – Beverly Burnham and Lillian Carter. Earlier in the meeting, correspondence was noted reporting action by the St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners to reappoint three persons to the COA Board – Allen Balog and Barbara Fisher for two years, and Deb Leyes for one year.
The St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners has endorsed submission of the Area Agency on Aging (AAA) FY 2014-2016 Multi-Year Plan to the Michigan Commission on Services to the Aging for final review and approval.
The action came Tuesday (June 18) following a presentation by Laura Sutter, AAA Coordinator with the Branch-St. Joseph Area Agency on Aging (IIIC) housed with the Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency office in Coldwater. AAA provides leadership and advocacy regarding issues affecting seniors and their families. It also provides funding for a network of in-home and community support services. Persons aged 60 and older are eligible to receive Older Americans Act and Older Michiganians Act services regardless of their income or assets, although emphasis is placed on helping older adults who have the greatest economic or social need.
In other business, the board: approved a Community Corrections Plan and Application for Fiscal Year 2014 after hearing from District Judge Jeff Middleton, chairman of the St. Joseph County Community Corrections Advisory Board approved an out-of-state travel request from Central Dispatch to allow Director Jon Uribe and Deputy Director Gary LeTourneau to attend a user training conference in Newark, Ohio September 9-11, hosted by Alert PSS which has been contracted to upgrade the CAD, RMS and Mobile computer systems and approved a request to fill an open secretary position in the Friend of the Court office.