‘It’s just real sad’: Seniors forced out of Baileyton community center
BAILEYTON, Ala. (WAFF) - Seniors in Baileyton are sharing their frustrations on the closure of a place they call a second home.
Last week, the president of the Baileyton Senior Center was given a notice that they must vacate the building. The notice, signed on Mar. 8 gave them only 10 days to leave.
Vice President James Fisher says when the new administration was elected, funding for the senior center stopped, locks were changed and access to the center’s bus was restricted. When Fisher was served this notice to vacate, it was the last straw.
“We’ve got to vacate this premises here and of course, the storage shed out back also. It’s just really sad that it’s come to this, it really is. Because we all like coming here,” says Fisher.
When asked about this decision, Mayor Windell Calloway’s answer was ‘it’s the law.’ He said the private entities are not allowed to use buildings owned and operated by the town without paying some compensation.
“A separate entity cannot use any town property without paying for it. So in the past when they were allowed to use it, they were actually breaking the law. Whether you like things or not, the law, you have to go by it,” says Calloway.
He claims he did give the senior center an option to pay a fee to utilize the space whenever they desired, but the center declined. Calloway says the previous administration allowed many things to go unchecked, but he’s on a mission to keep his record clean.
Calloway hopes to utilize the building as a center for the entire community of Baileyton, giving everyone the opportunity to gather. However, members of the senior community remain upset.
“There [are]168 hours in a week and we only use five hours of that. We’ve been here for 11 or 12 years. So now they’ve elected to make us leave. There’s no reason for it,” says Fisher.
Click Here to Subscribe on YouTube: Watch the latest WAFF 48 news, sports & weather videos on our YouTube channel!
Copyright 2023 WAFF. All rights reserved.