The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Homepage

December 22, 2012

County confirms closure of Nanty Glo Senior Center

EBENSBURG — It’s official: The Nanty Glo Senior Center, long a fixture in that Cambria County community, will be shut by Dec. 31.

The official decision came in a 2-1 vote by the county commissioners Friday, just days after seniors had protested the closing at a meeting with the county leaders at the center.

It’s been a fixture in Nanty Glo for at least 60 years, most recently at the Bird Court apartments.

Cambria Commissioner Mark Wissinger said that the decision was one of the most difficult he and President Commissioner Douglas Lengenfelder have had to make since taking office in January.

But the two said that they had little option but to take that action in the face of cuts that the county Area Agency on Aging will be seeing from the state.  

The Nanty Glo Center has the lowest participation of any of the nine in the county, and its annual rent of $9,131 is the highest, they said.

Commissioner Thomas Chernisky, who cast the dissenting vote, said he believes that Cambria’s nine centers are the “right” number to provide for the county’s aging population.  

Other options, including reduced hours of service, should be explored, he said.

During the next three years, state funding cuts will result in a deficit of more than $900,000 – $277,789 in 2013; $269,506 in 2014; and $353,286 in 2015, the commissioners said.

By closing the Nanty Glo center, the savings will be $45,000 in 2013, M. Veil Griffith, administrator of the Cambria’s Area Agency on Aging, said.

Pressed on how the rest of the deficit will be met next year, Griffith indicated that options are under review. But she said that the agency, instead of providing direct home-care services under programs aimed at keeping the elderly in their own homes, will contract with private providers.

A number of positions in that program as well as case manager jobs are not being filled, she said.

When a question was raised whether any other centers might be closed in the future, Lengenfelder said, “We hope not.”

But, he said that to avoid that possibility, there will have to be “a controlled process” – apparently in the agency programs – “over years of planning.”

Lengenfelder again pointed out – as he had at the Nanty Glo meeting – that both the Jackson Township Senior Center and the Ebensburg Center are less than eight miles away and can easily be reached by Nanty Glo seniors.  The Ebensburg Center already is planning welcoming parties for the Nanty Glo residents, he said.

Furniture from the Nanty Glo Center will be moved to the other centers, it was reported.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Tribune-Democrat News Slideshow
Latest News
Local News

Sports
Features
Multimedia
Featured Ads
Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Front page
Front page
Poll

What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

     View Results
House Ads
Order Photos


Photo Slideshow