State rep offers support for new senior center

Posted 5/27/21

At a lunch meeting Moday at the Powell Senior Center, state Rep. Rachel Rodriguez-Williams, R-Cody, was eager to talk to the clients about change.

The first change was seeing her instead of David …

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State rep offers support for new senior center

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At a lunch meeting Moday at the Powell Senior Center, state Rep. Rachel Rodriguez-Williams, R-Cody, was eager to talk to the clients about change.

The first change was seeing her instead of David Northrup, the prior representative for House District 50; Williams — who represents the eastern part of Cody, Clark, Ralston, Heart Mountain, Crandall, Sunlight and the Willwood area south of Powell — took office in January.

“I want to be a familiar, approachable face,” she told the seniors. “I want to communicate in ways that work for you.”

Williams said she had taken a tour of the Powell Senior Center, and saw the limitations of the building. She found it troublesome the building was not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act — meaning areas were inaccessible to those who used a walker, wheelchair or were otherwise disabled. Williams told the assembled clients the need for a new building was definite.

“I support your endeavor,” she told the group. Williams’ awareness of their struggle was raised recently when a family member struggled with temporary disability and discovered there were many places that were inaccessible. 

Linda Dalton, the senior center director, has reached out to Gov. Mark Gordon’s office to ask if the proposal to build a new center would meet the guidelines for a $5 million grant through the American Rescue Plan, the most recent federal stimulus package. That plan has earmarked $109 million for capital construction grants to Wyoming. Part of the grant process is for area community leaders, such as state
representatives, to express support for the proposed project. 

Dalton said Tuesday that a professional grant writer, Jennifer Just, has been retained to write the grant proposal. Dalton will provide the information and review the proposal.

However, the organization is waiting for the finalized guidelines to be released by the governor’s office; Dalton said she expects those guidelines to be sent out sometime in June. It is currently unknown how long it would be before any grant funding would be dispersed, but the rescue plan allows states up to three years to allocate the funding.

Hopes are to locate a new senior center near Rocky Mountain Manor, perhaps even adjacent to the senior apartment complex.

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