Earlier in the meeting, a pair of Spalding County senior citizens asked about the progress of the new senior center.
“We worked hard on this SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax) for our senior citizens,” said Betty Taylor. “Where is the money for the senior center and why hasn’t it been put in the budget?”
Board of Commissioners Chairman Eddie Goss said the money has not been spent and is still there.
Taylor said the seniors did not give the county commissioners permission to spend $120,000 on a study. Goss responded by saying the money was used to see if Carver Road could be the site of a new senior center.
Taylor then said the county should give the senior citizens a new building.
“We did not vote for a used one,” she said.
She did not approve of either the Griffin Elks Lodge or the Cook’s Shopping Center location. She said the Carver Road site would be safer because it is close to both the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office and the Spalding County Fire Department headquarters.
Billie Brown spoke as well.
“As Miss Betty said, it’s been five years and we’re still waiting,” she said.
Brown said the seniors wanted the Carver Road site and did not get it. She asked the commissioners to build a larger senior center to accommodate increased membership.
Board of Commissioners member Bob Gilreath said the senior center has been a political football.
However, the Carver Road site was too rocky and the Elks Lodge was not suitable.
He said his effort to get the new senior center built will be “never-ending.”
Later in the meeting, Board of Commissioners Vice Chairwoman Gwen Flowers-Taylor said the senior center has been very much on her mind but the Carver Road site would have been $14 million.
The SPLOST does allow for monies to be spent on renovating the existing senior center or moving it to another site.
Technically, the county does not need to build a new building.