By SUNNY LOCKWOOD
After four months of losing money while managing the Calaveras Senior Nutrition Program, Area 12 Agency on Aging is parting ways with the Calaveras Senior Center.
The Area 12 board of directors voted unanimously Thursday morning to stop preparing and serving meals at the senior center on Mountain Ranch Road in San Andreas.
Instead, the board directed agency staff to look for a new location for providing senior meals and to also look into establishing senior nutrition programs through area restaurants.
Since July, the agency has been managing the senior meals program in Calaveras, which served about 6,700 meals to elderly residents last year, and has been losing money.
Executive Director Peggy Lee said senior nutrition in Calaveras was $31,000 in the hole as of October just four months into the fiscal year and will be $92,000 in the red by the end of the fiscal year if changes are not made.
One of Lee's complaints is that the senior center charges the agency $1,000 a month rent.
With a conference room full of senior center board members and others, Area 12 Board President Mark Thornton asked if the center might consider lowering its rent, but Kenneth McInturf, president of Calaveras County Senior Center Inc., said he wasn't prepared to make such a decision.
Calaveras County Supervisor Lucy Thein, who was in the audience, asked, "where would you go where you don't have to pay rent and utilities?"
Thornton responded, "the issue is to find something closer to what we can afford."
Calaveras County Supervisor Paul Stein, who is an alternate member of the Area 12 board, said, "to continue to incur losses is wrong."
Lee told the board that a restaurant in Angels Camp and one in San Andreas are interested in providing senior meals. She said she also had information on a possible center where Area 12 could move its kitchen equipment and continue providing meals to satellite centers and the Meals on Wheels program.