A well- known fitness and social activity organization is proposing a way to help the city of Lexington meet the needs of its senior citizens. The plan was heard, but not immediately endorsed by city leaders. There’s general agreement Lexington needs at least one new senior citizens center. The aging center on Nicholasville road just can’t meet all the service demands today. City leaders have been considering sites for building a new larger facility. Now, the YMCA of Central Kentucky is offering a different plan.
It would involve building a new Y in the Hamburg area and then new construction at three other existing YMCA’S. David Martorano is President and C-E-O of the YMCA of Central Kentucky.
“At the end of the day it’s about our residents, and I think through this partnership framework, we can take care of our residents in probably the most impactful way in providing them opportunities in those four geographic locations,” said Martorano.
The Y is suggesting a large chunk of the 15 million dollars the city proposed to spend on a new senior citizens center go to the YMCA. It would go toward establishment of the new facilities. The Y is also pledging to raise funds to put into the mix. Lexington Social Services Commissioner Beth Mills wonders about existing programs at the Senior Citizens Center.
“People know to call the Senior Center to find out about home care, to find out about the nursing home ombudsman’s there, meals on wheels has been there. My concern is how do you keep that and have satellite centers,” said Mills.
Martorano says employees at the current senior citizens center could move to the new Y centers. He says the city could be involved with operation of programs. Vice Mayor Linda Gorton expressed some concern about shorter hours of formal programming.
“There’s so many good things about this and so many other things that I have questions about. I think one of the attractive things is that this would be programming throughout the city. I think that’s the immediate attraction,” added Gorton.
After hearing the presentation, members of a Council committee voted six to four to continue efforts toward a single center. But, the YMCA’s proposal could still be given more review by the entire council