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Public hearing to outline how grant for new senior center will be spent
I-Public hearing on senior center pic.jpg
Wakefield Beasely and Associates were contracted to design the new center, which will break ground in 2019. - photo by For the Dawson County News

The Dawson County Board of Commissioners will hold a special called meeting next week to discuss the Community Development Block Grant that will be used to construct a new senior center in 2019.

The county was notified Aug. 24 that they would be receiving the $750,000 grant and the board of commissioners voted Nov. 1 to accept it. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development allocated the funding to Georgia’s Community Development Block Grant program, which is administered by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.

The hearing will be held at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 6, just before the regular meeting at 6 p.m. The hearing will be open to the public and is a forum for officials to discuss the approved activities for the grant, including the plan for how the money will be spent and the amount of money that will benefit low and moderate income persons, according to an ad from the county.

The new center is planned to go in next to the existing Margie Weaver Senior Center. The county was given donations amounting to around $944,000 by Betty Ann Burnett on behalf of the Pauline Ivey Trust in 2017, sparking the vision for a new center.

Senior Services Director Dawn Pruett said earlier this year that plans are to break ground for the new facility in 2019.

The current concept plan shows a new 4,800 square foot expansion to the right of the existing center. The single-level building will be connected to the existing center with a covered breezeway.

Planned for the new facility are a multipurpose room for lunch and special events, a game room with computers, a movie room, a commercial kitchen, lots of storage space, a conference room and an Alzheimer’s respite care room.

The current Margie Weaver Center will contain all of the recreational activities for the seniors, including art, jewelry making and exercise classes. The exercise class will move up from the basement into the current dining and event space on the main floor of the center, while the arts and jewelry classes will be able to take over the former exercise room, giving both programs a much needed expansion.

The hearing will be held on the second floor of the Dawson County Government Center, located at 25 Justice Way in Dawsonville.