A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Senior center: What to call it when it reopens?

Written June 20th, 2021 by Hasso Hering

The senior center, still closed, on June 12.

When it reopens after being closed for a year because of Covid, the Albany Senior Center in Monteith Riverpark will try to attract residents of a wider age range and may operate under a new name.

Kim Lyddane, the city’s parks and recreation director, is on the agenda of the city council’s work session at 4 p.m. Monday to talk about plans to reopen the center.

An advance notice of the council session said the discussion would be about “renaming of Albany Senior Center to Albany Community Center and reopening plans.”

In a memo to the council, Lyddane didn’t mention renaming the building, so it’s not clear whether that’s still part of the plan.

Because of the virus outbreak, the center has been closed to drop-in programs since March 2020. In her council memo, Lyddane wrote:

“As facilities reopen, there are unknowns regarding how many patrons will return, in what capacity, and on what timeline. These unknowns make it incredibly important for the department to focus on cost recovery, revenue generation, and finding ways to continue providing quality customer service.

“Due to COVID-19 modifications, the city’s and the department’s financial positions, changes in recreation trends/needs, and feedback from the 2021 Master Plan, staff aim to expand offerings at the facility. The center will still be a trusted, valuable place for seniors in the community but will have additional opportunities for more residents to get involved and find a place to recreate.”

Lyddane didn’t give a timeline for reopening.  Perhaps the council discussion Monday will yield an approximate date, along with more info about the center’s name. (hh)

9 responses to “Senior center: What to call it when it reopens?”

  1. Steven Reynolds says:

    Ms. Lyddane needs to continue to focus on generating revenue and producing results. She controls some of the most valuable assets in the city, including River Rhythms, Northwest Art and Air, all the programs at Monteith Park, Bryant Park, softball tournaments, most everything that’s tourist related. In the past, her department receives a substantial amount from the TLT tax collected by the hotels, motels and campgrounds, although that has been decimated by the shut downs and will hopefully recover soon.

    I look forward to seeing the P&R business plan, interested in how they you going to monetize assets like the new Riverfront project? I look forward to the department that controls the most valuable assets in the city no longer relying on property tax and utility fees but becomes self sustaining especially given the amount of public revenue that’s being invested through CARA into assets under her control. Will be interesting hearing her ideas and financial projections on generating revenue for the Albany Senior Center or whatever it ultimately becomes.

  2. Barbara Dugger says:

    Is the work session going to be available on Zoom or online somehow? We need to be “invited” to watch/listen/contribute in some form please.

  3. Diane Branson says:

    I urge Ms. Lyddane to open the Senior Center as soon as possible. Expanding the offering of classes and programs hopefully will help provide a needed financial boost. While the Center may not generate significant income to offset expenses the role it plays in the physical and mental health if our senior community is tremendous.

    I would encourage her to also reopen at least one of the city’s Libraries. The services provided by the Library benefit all ages and provide a valuable service to the whole community.

    • Janel Bennett says:

      The main library has opened.

      Welcome to Express Library Services! Patrons are welcome to drop-in to browse the collections and pickup holds- no appointment necessary. Please see Express Hours below for days and times. All visitors must follow these guidelines:
      Limit visits to 20 minutes or less
      Masks required for ages 2+, regardless of vaccination status
      Maintain 6 feet physical distancing with those outside of your household
      Toys, games, puppets, and furniture are not available
      If we reach capacity, there may be a wait to enter the library
      Computers are available during Express hours.
      Study rooms are available by appointment: https://cityofalbany.libcal.com/reserve/studyrooms
      If you are unable to follow the guidelines, please use curbside service, available at the Main Library.

      • Al Nyman says:

        Is there a state employee who wants to work? It is no more dangerous to go to the library as it is to go too Fred Meyer or work at Fred Meyer and should vaccinated individuals also have to give way to unvaccinated individuals. The fear of liberals as shown by polls is unbelievable and I’m going to the library without a mask and invite them to call the police so I can see if Kate Brown’s rules have any power in courts.

        • Ray Kopczynski says:

          And folks wonder why Linn Co. is one of the few counties still in the high-risk category…

  4. James Engel says:

    If it isn’t broken then why try & fix it? Leave it as the Albany Senior Center which was the concept when the place was built. These history/name revisionist ought to be run outta town or at least have their hands taped together so they couldn’t type demands.

    • Steven Reynolds says:

      The only thing James, is it needs to generate revenue, it needs to be self sustaining or at least break even. I will be interested to hear, what percentage is self sustaining and what is subsidized. Is the goal a 10% subsidy or an 80% subsidy. What are the numbers?

      Remember P&R controls many of the most valuable assets in the community, they don’t have any mortgages to cover, they have compulsory revenue streams that are guaranteed on the backs of people’s homes. They have millions in CARA dollars siphoned from other services going into upgrades, if you’re not going to collect TIF then you need to generate revenue some other way, that was the deal sold to the community when CARA was created, if you do these upgrades more revenue will be generated. They need to perform and show tangible results that are quantifiable.


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