October 26, 2021

Seniors to exit County Office Building

The search for a new home for the Cortland City senior center is on after Senior Club President Sharon Lanphear said there’s no room in the Cortland County Office Building after its space was converted to a new entry.

“While all the seniors are disappointed by the loss of the center, we are all hopeful the new location will allow us more options for space and the abilities to add new features,” Lanphear said.

The county maintenance department with help from a Utica company moved a shuffleboard and a pool table from the senior activities room after the county decided to make the room the new entry way to the County Office Building.

“If you look at why they made the change at the center in order to properly secure the building, it makes sense in today’s environment,” Lanphear said. “It was the initial shock of being displaced, even for a temporary time, that upset people.”

The senior centers in the county have been closed since March 17 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

County Legislator Richard Stock (D-Cortland) said a committee is looking at where a new senior center could be located for use once COVID is over. However, he wouldn’t comment further on what the committee has discussed.

Legislator Cathy Bischoff (D-Cortland) who sits on the search committee and is the chairwoman of the Health and Human Services Committee, couldn’t be reached for comment. Gary Mead, the senior council president, said that he is also on the committee, along with Mayor Brian Tobin, Lanphear, Stock,Tompkins Cortland Community College officials and, he believes, officials from SUNY Cortland.

“We’re really in the discussion phase still,” said Gary Mead, the senior council president.

Mead said that the space will need to be at least 2,000 square feet, “to have what we originally had.”