I remember during the past few presidential campaigns hearing the phrase, "We won't put grandma out on the street". I'm sure you have all heard that one before.
Well, we as seniors, have become dispensable to our government. We did not get a raise in Social Security in 2010 and will not in 2011 nor 2012 since it is based on the economy. However, our Medicare Premiums increased in 2010 and will in 2011 and every year thereafter, as long as we manage to keep Medicare. We are dispensable because we do not pay the high taxes we did when we were working. But we are still called on to be on the board of directors for non-profit organizations, because we have a lot of experience and knowledge. Seventy-five percent of non-profit board members are seniors and about 70 percent of volunteers are seniors. In the State of Utah, we lead the entire nation on number of volunteers.
Recently there has been a lot of criticism about the new Carbon County Senior Center built out by the fairgrounds. If you didn't get to the open house last Monday evening, you need to take the time to go out and tour the facility. Yes, it is farther away than the old center, but they now have four rather than two buses to pick you up at your doorstep and deliver you back to your doorstep at no charge.
Yes, it is a lot larger than the other one, but the other one was already too small, and the baby-boomers will be seniors within the next five years. It was built for expansion without having to remodel or add on right away. Yes it cost a lot of money, but $4.2 million was a grant that does not have to be paid back, and $4.2 million was a 30 year loan that is interest free.
No taxes were raised and none are expected to be raised for this facility. Our county commissioners have been working on this since 1990.
Our seniors have been meeting in a broken down building for years and have had to "make do." We had to lease parking spaces from the railroad and borrow parking spaces from Zions Bank There was no place within the city large enough to facilitate the new center. When you figure $8.4 million dollars for the building to accommodate 15 year growth and put on the ground that the county already owned, I think we owe our county commissioners the biggest "thank you" we could ever give to anyone for not feeling that we are dispensable like the rest of our government does. The needs and desires of the seniors and the present staff were listened to in every meeting and many changes were made according to those comments.