Hobart senior center considers adding staffer
By Karen Caffarini Post-Tribune correspondent October 3, 2012 10:00PM
Updated: November 5, 2012 11:37AM
HOBART — The City Council on Wednesday agreed to amend the Maria Reiner Senior Center’s 2013 budget to reflect an additional $10,000 needed in the event the center is able to hire a second full-time staff member.
The center’s executive director, Pam Broadaway, said the money would be needed only if the center receives enough grant money to pay for the additional full-time staff member. The $10,000 would be used to pay that employee’s benefits package, she said.
“I’m not asking the city for more money. I’m rearranging money in my own budget,” Broadaway said.
Mayor Brian Snedecor, who was not at the meeting, recommended the budget change.
The council also agreed to provide for center employees’ salaries for the 2013 fiscal year, again with the mayor’s approval.
“This doesn’t mean that the center will be fully funded. It gives the center flexibility for one more year. We need to give the center another year to make sure it all works,” Clerk-Treasurer Deb Longer said.
Broadaway said the center’s total budget is $140,000, including her salary. She said the center owes the city only $10,000, which was borrowed in July and is due to be paid back on Dec. 31. Broadaway doesn’t think there will be a problem paying the money back.
The city originally loaned the center money to get under way one year ago, with the intention that the money would be paid back and the center would eventually be self-sustaining. That money has been paid back.
Pointing out that the city recently passed dues increases to residents and nonresidents belonging to the senior center, resident Larry Brown questioned why a feasibility study wasn’t done by the city before it opened the center like it did for a private developer, Diamond Veil. That developer had proposed the Silverstone retail-hotel-sports complex development that was supposed to be on Mississippi Street, north of U.S. 30.
Dues for resident members went from $10 a year to $25 a year and dues for nonresidents were raised from $20 a year to $40 a year.
Councilman Jerry Herzog, D-1st, said the center has a board of directors and Brown should discuss his concerns with that board.