Senior center move gets costly for PT

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Due to unanticipated internal improvements to the new space, the estimated cost to move the Prairie Township Senior Center met an increase of $6,850 and resulted in further dissenting opinions from township residents regarding the trustees’ decision to foot the bill with taxpayer’s money.

The increase in the estimated cost spawns from recommended architectural and electrical work, the demolition of old walls and installation of new walls, kitchen cabinets, counter tops, and the removal and installation of carpet, as well as plumbing maintenance. The total cost of which amounts to $6,850.

According to road superintendent Dave McAninch, the improvements were necessary in order to create an appropriate space for senior citizens to utilize, as it lacked proper ventilation and sported deteriorating cabinets and holes in the existing carpet.    

“The cost for this project, in my opinion, is minimal,” said McAninch who strove to find the best available prices for the necessary work.

The new location, 4616 West Broad Street in Lincoln Village Plaza, will house the senior center for 3 years, according to the lease agreement with Nationwide Realty Investment Group, who afforded the township a $5,000 allowance for renting the space for that amount of time.

A 5-year contract with the group would have yielded a higher allowance, however, township trustees aim to find a more suitable space for the long-term.

“This allows us to move to a smaller space and have some additional time to decide where the senior center should go,” said trustee chair Nicole Schlosser, who made the additional point in its defense that a smaller space saves on the cost of rent and, theoretically, utilities.

The trustees also assured residents of their continued efforts to keep costs of the senior center down, but also remain fair.

“I made some promises,” said trustee Steve Kennedy.

“They (the senior center administration) brought the cost down where it needs to be. They’ve spent less money in the past two years than they did in the first.”

The trustees agreed that the space must be feasible for the seniors to occupy and host activities at present, but assured residents that their objections were heard and vowed to continue looking at other options for the future.

In other news, Franklin County Commissioners agreed to allow the township to place a lien on the property on which the Stiles and Mix Avenues apartments still loom.

The lien ensures that taxpayers will receive reimbursement for the cost to demolish the buildings as the future purchaser of the property must cover the total project amount.

“There’s a whole slew of people to thank for this,” said Kennedy.

“This works out, in my opinion, the best for everyone.”

Demolition preparation will begin on April 25, and the first building will fall on May 1.

Also, Prairie Township is currently participating in a week-long spring clean-up.

Trash and tire receptacles are located outside the township offices at 23 Maple Dr. at no charge to residents.

A second receptacle for trash only can be found at Station 243.

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