Carroll County's elderly enjoy a winning streak State grants $300,000 for Westminster center

September 29, 1993|By Anne Haddad | Anne Haddad,Staff Writer

Hard numbers have probably been the reason Carroll has five wins and no losses in the contest for state grants for senior center construction money, said Jan Flora, chief of the county Bureau of Aging.

Ms. Flora has learned her application netted the county $300,000 -- the maximum state grant for building senior centers -- to build the new Westminster Senior Center off Bishop Street.

The state Board of Public Works approved the grant Sept. 1 at the recommendation of the state Office on Aging.

The center is expected to cost $4.7 million. The county must pay all but the $300,000 covered by the grant. Construction has not begun, but county officials hope to have work finished in 1995, Ms. Flora said.

In the past six years, Carroll County has received grants for the new Mount Airy and Greenmount centers, and the Eldersburg and Taneytown centers it renovated.

"We've really done pretty well," said Jolene Sullivan, director of the county Department of Citizen Services, which includes the Bureau of Aging.

"We developed some good criteria for defending the need in these areas," said Ms. Sullivan.

Ms. Flora has written the applications for nearly all the grants. Before becoming bureau chief, part of her job as assistant director was to write grants, Ms. Sullivan said.

"She took the lead on that," Ms. Sullivan said. "She did do a really good job with it."

Ms. Flora said she used census figures and current attendance at centers to predict what usage would be at the new buildings.

"We tried to make it as concrete as possible. Maybe that's why we've been so successful."

She said Terry Brown of the Bureau of Building Construction supplied technical information on space and furnishing needs when Ms. Flora wrote the grant applications.

At least 50 people a day attend the Westminster Senior Center on Schoolhouse Avenue. She expects 100 a day at the new center, including additional visits by the people who live in the two large senior citizens housing complexes a few blocks away.

The new center will be close to agencies and institutions that serve seniors, such as the Carroll County Health Department and Carroll County General Hospital.

Other new centers, such as the ones in Greenmount and Mount Airy, have cost over $2 million each.

The Westminster center will be larger than those. In addition to Westminster center staff, it will contain bureau offices and staff members who serve seniors at all the centers.

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