It will be remembered that in early February the Galvan Foundation offered to give the City $300,000--exactly the amount needed to fill the gap between what the City had to spend on the senior center designed by Spacesmith ($780,000) and what the architect and engineer, after making some modifications to the design, estimated it would cost ($1,080,000). But in March, the Galvan Foundation had an even better idea: put the senior center in the Officers' Hall of the Armory, which in the plans for the renovation of that building has been dubbed the Community Wing.
Last night at the meeting of the Common Council Youth & Aging Committee, Doris Moore, commissioner of aging, spoke about locating the senior center in the Armory as if it were a done deal. The commissioner had toured the proposed space last Friday, along with Common Council president Don Moore, aldermen Wanda Pertilla (Second Ward), Ohrine Stewart (Fourth Ward), and Chris Wagoner (Third Ward), Youth Department recreation supervisor George Bednar, and members of the Youth Center staff. Pertilla, who chairs the Youth & Aging Committee, said she was "impressed with the building" and was "planning a day when the seniors [who participate in the senior program now offered at the Youth Center] can go and look at it."
Supervisor Sarah Sterling (First Ward), the only elected official in Hudson who actually participates in the senior program, said, from the audience, that "her nose was a little out of joint" because she had not been invited to join the tour, especially in light of the fact that she had made her interest in seeing the space known at the March 20 Common Council meeting when Daniel Kent, executive director of the Galvan Foundation, presented the proposal. Pertilla told Sterling that the tour on Friday was "only for aldermen" and Sterling could "go with the seniors."
Council president Moore expressed his concern that "the space [in the Armory] that is dedicated to seniors accommodates their needs." The space being offered in the Armory totals 2,700 square feet. The space in the proposed building adjacent to the Youth Center would be 4,200 square feet, and there was a time it was thought that wouldn't be enough.
Meanwhile, it still is not known if the City will get an extension on the $400,000 from the Community Development Block Grant program. At the March 20 Common Council meeting, Mayor William Hallenbeck, declaring that he had not "abandoned the idea of a senior center at the Youth Center," said that he had an appointment in Albany on Monday, March 25, to discuss an extension of the grant. Council president Moore and city attorney Cheryl Roberts were to accompany Hallenbeck on the mission. The Office of Housing and Community Renewal cancelled the meeting, and a conference call took place some days later in lieu of a face-to-face meeting, but it is still not clear if the appeal for more time will be granted. The $400,000 was awarded to the City of Hudson in August 2010.
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