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Posted on Jul 22, 2019

Senior Center supporters make case with city for building needs

About 10 supporters of Quincy Senior Center went to the city of Quincy to bring the city’s attention to numerous structural needs of the center at 522 F St. SE.
Mark Owens, president of the board of the Senior Center, presented their case at the city of Quincy’s Public Works Committee on July 11. City Council members on the committee and attending that day were Luke Garrison, Andrew Royer and Josey Ferguson. City Engineer Ariel Belino led the meeting.
Owens had a long list of structural issues to talk about.
“These are things that have been plaguing the Senior Center for 10 years,” Owens said.

A downspout at a decayed spot of the Quincy Senior Center exterior has disconnected.
Photo by Dave Burgess/Post-Register

He directed attendees to photos on 35 pages he had provided, each page with one or more photos showing a point of decay, safety risk or other concern, such as access.
The first idea he presented was to move the bus stop east a bit to be safer. The buses that stop out front of the center cannot move entirely out of the lane of traffic, and the buses block views for driv-ers and pedestrians at the intersection. The intersection becomes dangerous for pedestrians when a bus is at the stop.
Owens said people with the Senior Center have been asking for years for lines to be painted in the parking lot to direct drivers where to park and not to park.
Many of the photos of the exterior of the building showed what Owens termed wood rot and mold. In places, asphalt, concrete and stucco are crumbling.
Several at the meeting stated that the city is responsible for the building and its upkeep. Belino said the building was remodeled in 2012 at a cost to the city of more than $100,000.
Belino said he would bring the matter before the City Council in the fall at a budgeting retreat, when decisions about city projects and purchases for 2020 would be made.
The Senior Center is run by a board, not by the city. Quincy city government provides the Senior Center a monthly stipend of $4,500, city officials said.
For 2019, the city had budgeted $50,000 for the Senior Center facility, besides the stipend. City officials at the meeting stated that the city still has $49,000 of the budgeted sum remaining.
Garrison, looking at the photos Owens provided, remarked that repairs would cost a lot more than $100,000. That triggered some talk of getting a new building altogether, rather than spend more on repairs of the current center.
Owens emphasized the need to address safety issues first: asphalt and the bus stop.
With other matters also on the agenda, no plan for repairs was made at the July 11 meeting.

By Dave Burgess,