Efforts for new senior facility before county | RecordCourier.com

Efforts for new senior facility before county

by Susie Vasquez

Douglas County commissioners are going to take another look at the need for a senior center.

Possible locations, the types of services and funding for the new center, are all agendized for Thursday’s meeting.

The effort follows the September defeat by voters of Question One, a measure that would have provided funding for a new center.

“We’re going to take another look at the need for a senior center,” said Brian Fitzgerald, recreation superintendant for Douglas County Parks and Recreation. “Thursday’s meeting will give staff a direction, so they can regroup and plan a smaller-scale project.

“I think we’ll be looking at a scaled-down plan, but the new center should be large enough to provide a hub for meals,” Fitzgerald said.

“It will probably take a couple of months, to put a proposal together.”

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Providing meals for Douglas County’s home-bound population, in addition to the 125 meals served daily at the center, is the biggest challenge for the existing facility.

Providing enough room for those seniors who come for lunch and activities is the second largest challenge, said Paul Lockwood, president of Young At Heart, the organization in charge of the center’s daily operations.

“We turn away a lot of people due to overcrowding,” Lockwood said. “People come in and they love it here, but couples sometimes can’t sit together. A lot of people don’t come because there isn’t adequate parking and we can’t expand the parking lot here, without consent from the neighbors.”

The satellite concept for senior centers in Douglas County has its advantages, according to Senior Center supervisor Warren Bottino.

“Douglas County is large, but we could cover all areas with satellite facilities,” he said.

Lockwood said most counties also provide services for senior day care, something lacking in Douglas County.

“We have 15,000 seniors in this area, and at least 5 percent of those have Alzheimer’s Disease,” he said.

“In Washoe County, their day-care has a clientele of 60 and a waiting list,” Bottino said. “The centers give families a break, and offer great social benefits for patients.”

Right now, the Douglas County proposal includes a larger dining room and multi-purpose room for other activities.

Thursday’s agenda is packed with issues, including the following:

— Commissioners could approve a proposed 610-acre amendment to Douglas County’s redevelopment area.

Redevelopment dollars provide money for infrastructure improvements without burdening local taxpayers and the area includes a proposed commercial area that could bring sales tax dollars to the county.

— Commissioners could approve a report from the planning commission concerning Muller Lane, a proposed 6.3-mile thoroughfare designed to alleviate traffic through Minden and Gardnerville.

Planning Commission members neither approved nor denied the proposed route of Muller Parkway, but they are asking the Board of Commissioners to keep the collector route for cars, not trucks.

The measure includes removal of a mid-valley arterial, as well as modifications to the road alignment for Muller Parkway.

A master plan amendment changing the land use for 80 acres west of Orchard Road, from agriculture to rural residential, could mean a reduction in lot size, from 19 to 5 acres.

— Commissioners could approve the Virginia Ranch development in Gardnerville, which includes 715 single-family homes on 134 acres, 305 multi-family townhomes on 54 acres, a school site, a 22-acre commercial area and five acres set aside for service or industrial use.

— Susie Vasquez can be reached at svasquez@recordcourier.com or 782-5121, ext. 211.

What: Douglas County Board of Commissioners meeting

When: 1 p.m. Thursday

Where: Douglas County Administration Building, 1616 Eight St., Minden