Local News – Senior Center in the black; Sweet Creek Road; Relay for Life on 2 wheels

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Local News

Senior Center Success Relies on Volunteers

The Florence City Council heard a semi-annual report last night from the organization that operates the Senior Center.  City Manager Jacque Betz says the facility is run without any public funds.

Volunteers operate the Florence Senior Center, but still need some help with landscaping. (photo courtesy www.florenceseniorcenter.org)

Jacque Betz – “What’s amazing about this group is they are volunteers that are operating this senior center and they are averaging about 830 hours a month for volunteer hours.”

The group is required to update the City Council every six months about their activities, operations, and finances.  After more than two years of operation, they’re running with a slight surplus.  That’s difficult to do because of one requirement of the federal grant that paid for the bulk of the construction.

Jacque Betz – “They have to rent it out to people that are 60 and over, and they’ve gotten very creative in the types of classes that they’ve brought in, you know, all kinds of recreational opportunities going on there too.  It’s been a struggle but they’re making it work.”

Despite the ample number of volunteers, there is still one need they struggle to fill.

Jacque Betz – “The landscaping is always an issue.  They don’t have lawn to mow, there are weeds to pull.  They could use some help with that.”

Potential volunteers with a green thumb and sturdy knees can contact the Senior Center directly.

Sweet Creek Road repairs to begin

A troublesome quarter-mile long stretch of road that provides all-season access to 68 homes and large tracts of forest land will begin getting repairs this week.  The Sweet Creek Road retaining wall project is expected to take as much as 16-months.  The Lane County Road department has long struggled with the roadway about two miles south of Highway 126 near Mapleton.  The biggest problem came in January 2011 when one lane slumped off.  The work will require intermittent overnight closures, between eight PM and six AM.  Signs posting the closure dates will be erected at each end of the project several days in advance each time.  About 95-percent of the $6.1-million pricetag for the repairs will be paid by a federal highway grant.

Relay for Life riders to honor P.T. Smith

The annual American Cancer Society Relay for Life gets underway at Miller Park in Florence at Noon Friday.  One new feature this year is a tribute to the late P.T. Smith, the principal driving force behind the Friends of Florence van.  Motorcycle riders will meet in the south Miller Park entrance off 15th street at six pm Friday.  They’ll make two laps on two wheels before presenting their donation to relay organizers at 6:30.