Senior Center members are excited for a 'new era of cooperation'
The Park City Senior Center has a formal memorandum of understanding with the city and Summit County. That’s intended to guide the development of the Woodside Phase II affordable housing project.
The Senior Center has owned its building on Woodside Ave since the 1970s. The city owns the land, and the building is under a long-term lease.
The center lies within the Woodside Phase II affordable housing project area. Woodside Phase I is complete, and Phase II is on hold as the city and the seniors work out how the center fits in with the housing development.
Park City officials proposed a new Senior Center in City Park, but seniors rejected the idea last year, stating they wanted to remain in their current location as allowed by the existing lease.
Park City Mayor Nann Worel said the MOU in place formally defines the city’s, county’s, and seniors’ responsibilities.
“A lot of things have changed. The seniors became a 501 C-3, which is super exciting. The city has always provided services. The county has. It's always been kind of unofficial. We do this or you do that. So, we just wanted to put it down in writing that this is what the city will be doing. These are the responsibilities of the seniors. Now that they're a 501 C-3, and then this is what the county is going to be doing.”
Park City Senior Center President Cheryl Soshnik is confident that having the new MOU in place will formalize planning with local government. She said having the agreement doesn’t change much but establishes that the center will now pay its own insurance, which the city had been paying.
“We are entering the era of collaborating with the county and the city instead of being our entities and fighting for what we want. This memorandum of understanding to me, says that we're now working nicely with the city and the county, and we have mutual goals. It's the beginning of a new era of cooperation.”
The Senior Center hired its first-ever advocate, Kelly Jacobs. She has lived in the area for more than 30 years and loves working with seniors. She listed a few top priorities in her new position.
“I think increasing membership is one, utilizing the building for all seniors from age 60 on up, looking at the inclusion of all groups of people. Diversity and equity and then just programs, increase the programs. We have a wide variety of people here, and we want to get them all to come and see what we've got for them.”
Soshnik said the center wants to increase younger seniors’ activities and use the building to collaborate with other community groups. They’d like to offer more trips and activities as well.
They’ve established a Grey Ribbon committee to work with the city. She said the center has had a breakthrough with the Woodside Phase II plans.
“The new city council and mayor have all agreed that Woodside phase II is scheduled for an improved Senior Center and senior housing in a hybrid situation with affordable housing. And so, you know, this senior input and collaborating with the city and their architects and everything and coming up with a plan on how it's going to work.”
Soshnik said the current Park City Leadership class plans to survey seniors to identify what people want from housing and long- or short-term care facilities.
The Senior Center is open Mondays and Thursdays from 10 A.M. – 3 P.M., offering lunch and the opportunity to socialize for anyone 60 or older. For anyone interested in joining, the center takes applications during those hours.
They’re working on a website and soon hoping to offer membership registration electronically.