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CSD senior-care scenario suffers serious setback

By: Roger Phelps, The Telegraph
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Senior day-care plans are shelved for El Dorado Hills. In hard times for El Dorado County government, supervisors Nov. 4 grounded a project for the Ramona “Moni” Gilmore Senior Center at Lassen Lane and El Dorado Hills Boulevard. The decision ruled the project would have to wait until “fiscally feasible.” The Gilmore senior center is operated by the El Dorado Hills Community Services District. County senior day-care services are offered in Placerville, and the plan was to expand to El Dorado Hills in the Gilmore center. Some EDH seniors currently are riding a county-funded bus to Placerville for day care, said Wayne Lowery, CSD general manager. But, until wounded national and local economies recover, EDH Alzheimer’s sufferers and other needy seniors won’t have a local place to go. “It was in the plans back when we moved in, in June 2006,” said Janet Kenneweg, director of the Gilmore senior center. Gilmore herself saw to that inclusion, Kenneweg said. Some renovation toward a care facility is already done. A fenced back patio is not yet completed. “The plan was for an outdoor patio so members could be outside, in a place that was gated and secure,” Kenneweg said. But construction cost is not the sticking point. It is operating cost, said Mike Applegarth, county senior administrative analyst. “The initial project for senior day-care would have been a $300,000 annual operating budget,” Applegarth said. “We initially had a fund balance, from the project in Placerville, but that balance is gone.” Despite the setback, CSD officials believe the care facility is just a matter of time. “We’re going to expand, and create a satellite of the county’s Placerville service,” Lowery said. After that, the CSD will want the Gilmore center to be 100-percent day-care, and to build a new, separate senior recreation facility in town, Kenneweg said. The Telegraph’s Roger Phelps can be reached at rogerp@goldcountrymedia.com, or post a comment at edhtelegraph.com.