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Bill Would Require Alerts for Senior Center Closings

Thursday, August 14, 2008

As the city aims to modernize the more than 300 senior centers throughout the five boroughs - many elderly New Yorkers are worried it'll lead to the closure of the centers they rely on.

In response to these fears, a new City Council bill aims to require community notification before any senior center funded by the Department of Aging is closed.

Councilman James Vacca is sponsoring the legislation. He says he supports the city trying to bring the centers into the 21st century - but that they all have their unique value.

VACCA: I don't want every center to be slick... I don't want every center to attract the same people. There are some people who go for a nutritious meal - there are others who go for dancing, some who go for bingo or a trip!

REPORTER: The bill would require that Council members, community boards and borough presidents be notified at least 60 days before any senior center is closed.

The Department for the Aging opposes the legislation. An agency spokesman says "when confronted with issues of health, safety and other circumstances, the department needs the flexibility to take immediate action."

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