FLINT TWP. — The township board gave tentative approval to plans for repairs and a possible addition at the Senior Citizens Center, 2071 S Graham Road.
The most immediate need is to correct drainage issues that have led to moldy walls, a mildew odor and unsafe walking conditions during the winter, according to Pam Luna, center director, in her request to the board.
The building, which is owned by the township, was built in 1979 with some additions during the 1980s, Luna said. The senior center occupies 60 percent of the building and a branch of the Genesee District Library occupies the rest. But the senior center shares its activity rooms with the library and other groups needing meeting space, Luna said.
The drainage problem heightened in April when center members decided to redo its gardens. Center officials had believed that dirt piled against one side of the building was creating the drainage problem but once it was removed, rainwater began leaking into the library, badly damaging its new carpet and creating the mildew smell.
On the north side of the building poor drainage has caused enough standing water to keep a patch of grass green while the drought has caused vegetation all around it to brown or die. A spot of mold on the north exterior wall is about five feet high.
This is not just a summer/spring problem, Luna said. Poor drainage causes ice buildup on the roof during the winter. Staff go out to the parking lot to escort seniors inside to ensure no one slips and falls.
After talking to township officials and others, it was determined that the drainage is caused by structural problems which need to be resolved first.
“Otherwise it is like putting a Band- Aid on it, “Luna said. She also asked that township officials consider building an addition to the center, which is heavily used by center patrons, the library and other groups.
A parking lot expansion would also alleviate congestion. More storage would be helpful also.
Supervisor Karyn Miller said she had arranged for an engineer and architect to visit the center this week to examine the problems and suggest solutions. If the cost is under $5,000, she can okay it without the board’s approval. If it is more than $10,000 it must be bid out with board approval. Miller said she would provide the board with a report from the engineer and would place it on the agenda for the board’s next meeting on August 15. The board’s regular Monday night meeting on August 1 has been cancelled due to the August 2 primary election.