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Senior center reworks city agreement; closer to stabilizing finances

Jul 28, 2017 By Alejandra Silva, Staff Writer

The deal covers gas and electricity, while the City of Riverton will continue to pay water, sewer and sanitation for now.

The Riverton Senior Citizens Center has earned approval from the Riverton City Council to pay electric and gas utility bills using grant funding.

The move means the city no longer has to cover the utility costs, according to Riverton City Councilwoman Holly Jibben, who sits on the senior center endowment board.

The city, which owns the senior citizens center building, will continue to cover costs for water, sewer and trash.

If the center is unable to find grant funding for the electric and gas bills, the city will continue to use the center's endowment funds to pay the expenses, Jibben said.

Center executive director Jane Nolde said the organization reorganized its finances and found the grant funding to be useful in a new way.

The money comes from the Wyoming Senior Services Board of the Aging Division within the Wyoming Department of Health.

Jibben commended the center for its diligence in finding uses for the funding.

"They're doing an amazing job right now," Jibben said.

The change to the agreement will help the center maintain their endowment funding above the $881,000 threshold.

"We're trying to keep the life of the endowment as long as possible," Nolde said.

Mayor Lars Baker reminded the council that the center came with a $1.2 million endowment with the anticipation of a growth in revenue from the interest rate.

It "uses to generate enough before" but has now "dwindled away," Baker said.

"They've been spending that down," he said "We've been trying to hold the line on that."

For now, the city will be flexible and provide the center with the ability to deal with its money and expenses, he added.

The endowment can't be used unless for emergency purposes.

"Things seem to be moving in the right direction," Baker said.

Nolde pointed out the various fundraising events being organized by the center, including a community spaghetti dinner Aug. 20.

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