Donation requests by Davis County senior citizens to help fund their new $650,000 senior citizen center in Kaysville are getting mixed reactions from city councils.
The seniors are asking the councils to donate $7.50 for every person over 50 in their cities to help pay construction costs on the 10,000-square-foot center, which they hope to start building around July 1.The Davis Council of Governments earmarked $400,000 in federal Community Development Block Grant money for the project, and about $50,000 in private donations has been raised, leaving a gap of between $175,000 and $200,000.
Final construction plans and definite cost estimates should be ready within a week to 10 days, Davis Aging Services board member Frank Storey told the Layton City Council.
Storey and fellow board member Jim Young asked the council for $36,000 and got no response from the council, which is still smarting from the group's decision to build the center in Kaysville instead of Layton.
Asked by Mayor Richard McKenzie what the response from other cities has been, Storey said it has "ranged from `yes' to `no' to `hell no.' " Cities in southern Davis County contributed heavily to construction of a center in Bountiful, he said, and appear reluctant to contribute to the Kaysville project because it will mainly serve those living in the central part of the county.
Board member Helen Hough this week asked the Farmington council for $6,375 for its estimated 850 senior citizens and got only a promise that the city would consider it during upcoming budget workshops.
Although not making any definite promises, Young told the Layton council he is impressed with the staff and programs of Layton's city-financed senior citizen program and would like to see it incorporated into the new Kaysville program.
Layton has its own part-time program in an old building adjacent to City Hall. But the structure will be torn down this summer if the city's plans to build a new municipal building on the site are finalized.
Layton council members lobbied for the new center to be built in their city, saying the bulk of the senior citizens who will use the center live in Layton. A new center built primarily with federal funds and operated with county funds would have also solved the council's problem of what to do with its own program when the current building is razed.
The council still has not come to grips with that, members agreed during a round-table discussion.
McKenzie emphasized that the Layton senior citizens have not been promised a new building, but the council has told them "they won't have their program pulled out from under them."
But they need to face up to the reality that the city has only been offering a partial, one-day-a-week program, while the new Kaysville center would offer a full-time program, incorporating many of the things available in Layton.
"We have to face the reality that there will be a building and a full-time program in Kaysville," McKenzie said. "We have to face up to that. I also feel if the center in Kaysville can offer the same programs we have here, it would be double taxation for Layton's citizens to duplicate the seniors program here."
Although they did not take a formal vote, the council members agreed to wait to see what programs are offered through the Kaysville center before making a financial commitment.