UPDATE: Senior Citizens get year-long reprieve on center - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Senior Citizens get year-long reprieve on center

Posted: Updated:
Snapshots of activities cover a board at the Senior Center. Snapshots of activities cover a board at the Senior Center.
UPDATE: A group of senior citizens fighting the city and a local mall over rent money may have found middle ground Thursday.

The Board of the Eastgate Mall Senior Center met with city officials Thursday to hammer out plans. That's when it was revealed the mall had proposed to let the group stay in their current area of the mall rent-free for another 12 months. But the city has to continue to pay utility fees and build a brand new sound-proof buffer wall to keep noise away from other parts of the mall.

The city has always paid the roughly $4,000 in utilities. But Eastgate recently asked for several thousand dollars in monthly rent payments, too, saying it was frequent noise complaints on the center. The city said it wasn't willing to pay that much money for rent.

"We will be able to utilize these facilities for one more year without any cost to the city," said Ernest Duke of the new developments. "And they will put in a sound-proof buffer to drown out the noise which has been a concern of some of the schools in and around the area."

The mall must now make a written proposal to city officials that details the new agreement to let the seniors stay for another 12 months rent-free with the addition of a buffer wall.

City COO Brent Goldberg said in Thursday's meeting the buffer wall might fall within an affordable price range.

"Our goal is to provide the best services and programming possible to our community members, at the best value to tax payers. We will consider all feasible options that allow us to accomplish this goal," said city spokeswoman Lacie Stone.

In the meantime, the city continues its plans to build a new Brainerd community center that will eventually house the senior center upon construction completion. Goldberg said the city has $1.5 million set aside for the new proposed center and that the plan is for the senior center to eventually move out of Eastgate and into its own section of the new community center.

PREVIOUS STORY: These senior citizens have an un-breakable bond.

"This is my family, my loved ones. We have pot lucks together, things people do together in the work force we do together, we have each other," said Martha Foster.

Recently they were told their typical hang-out spot at the senior center in Eastgate mall was closing it's doors, unless the city wanted to pay-up.

In years past, the city only had to pay for the utilities used, now, after several noise complaints the management is demanding rent for the space, plus cost for the utilities, making the bill $15,000 a month.

That's money the city isn't willing to fork over.

"It's just like we were being led to slaughter. You get out, that's it," said Connie Griggs.

Brent Goldberg with the city says they plan to build a new community center near Eastgate mall, but it could take up to a year before plans are made.

In the meantime, the seniors will be divided up among other community centers unless a deal is made with Eastgate.

"We don't want to be in a community center; we have so many activities, with seniors that it just won't fit in someone else's program," said Griggs.

These seniors say a community center that isn't just for seniors won't work for them.

"Move us an activity here and activity there, small group here small group there. Keep us all together," said Foster.

"We just want a place to call our own," said Griggs.

"We want to stay together. We want our family to stay intact," said Foster.

The seniors told me they want a place of their own to ensure safety of those with less mobility.

The city said they plan to meet with all groups involved to see if there is a deal that can be made.
  • NewsMore>>

  • #FNF3 Scoreboard Week-0, Aug. 22 with FNF Show highlights

    #FNF3 Scoreboard Week-0, Aug. 22 with FNF Show highlights

    Saturday, August 23 2014 1:33 AM EDT2014-08-23 05:33:58 GMT
    Channel 3's Friday Night Football is back in its 30th year! #FNF3More
    Channel 3's Friday Night Football is back in its 30th year! #FNF3More
  • Supt. Smith gets above average report card from School Board

    Supt. Smith gets above average report card from School Board

    Friday, August 22 2014 11:33 PM EDT2014-08-23 03:33:12 GMT
    Rick SmithRick Smith
    For the third straight year, Hamilton County School Board members have given their Superintendent an "above average" report card. According to scores released by Board Chairman Mike Evatt, Smith ranks highly for his choice of attire, his personal ethics, and communicating with his staff and the public. At the lower end of the scale, Board members said Smith needs to improve on keeping them informed of personnel moves, clarifying his goals, and negotiating contract details with teachers. On a ...More
    For the third straight year, Hamilton County School Board members have given their Superintendent an "above average" report card. According to scores released by Board Chairman Mike Evatt, Smith ranks highly for his choice of attire, his personal ethics, and communicating with his staff and the public. At the lower end of the scale, Board members said Smith needs to improve on keeping them informed of personnel moves, clarifying his goals, and negotiating contract details with teachers. On a ...More
  • Person shot on Walker Avenue

    Person shot on Walker Avenue

    Friday, August 22 2014 11:22 PM EDT2014-08-23 03:22:53 GMT
    Chattanooga Police are investigating a shooting on Walker Avenue.More
    Chattanooga Police are investigating a shooting on Walker Avenue.
    More
Powered by WorldNow
Can't find what you're looking for?

WRCB-TV
900 Whitehall Road
Chattanooga, TN 37405
(423) 267-5412

WRCB Jobs EEO | FCC Public Files

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WRCB. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.