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Senior Centers Slated to Close

NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY — Three senior centers in Northumberland County are set to close at the end of January.

Seniors are upset because they have to find a new place to get together.

The Northumberland County Commissioners voted to close the centers in Dewart, Riverside and Elysburg in the new year, and say it will save the county around $300,000. Seniors at the Elysburg Senior Action Center hope the commissioners will reconsider.

It was bingo day at the Elysburg Senior Action Center in Northumberland County.

Seniors gather here five days a week to eat, play games and spend time together.

“This is a pleasure. This is a good place to go and I’m here three times a week. I really enjoy it,” said Helen Wallace of Elysburg.

Soon the seniors must find a new place to spend their days.  Last week the Northumberland County Commissioners voted to close the Elysburg Senior Action Center along with the senior centers in Riverside and Dewart.

“We had a real good time, it was like a social hour,” said Jo Sheptock of Elysburg. “Now they’re taking that away from us.”

Northumberland County Commissioner Steve Bridy was the only one to vote to keep the centers open.  He says the three centers will close because of financial reasons.

“It roughly costs with wages, salary and benefits, heat, light and water about $100,000 per center per year so we’re looking to save around $300,000,” said Commissioner Bridy.

Commissioner Bridy says everyone who attends the senior centers that are closing will be offered transportation to other senior action centers.
 
Many of the seniors say they have been coming to the Elysburg center for more than 10 years and they say the members are like family.

“I’m going to sit at home and twiddle my thumbs, do nothing else. This way I keep alive by coming here,” said Violet Carl of Elysburg.



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