The chairman of the Leavenworth County Commission expressed frustration Wednesday about what he said is false information about the Council on Aging.
“I would like to know who it is coming from because it is not true,” Chairman Doug Smith said.
Smith said commissioners are not cutting programs offered by the Leavenworth County Council on Aging. He said the county is not laying off staff at the agency.
Smith’s comments came a week after residents expressed concern to commissioners about what they feared would be changes to the Council on Aging.
County officials have acknowledged they are looking for a new potential home for the Council on Aging, which provides various services for senior citizens.
The Council on Aging currently is located at 1830 S. Broadway in Leavenworth. The building once served as the Leavenworth County Infirmary and was owned by the county government. The county now leases the property for the Council on Aging.
County Administer Mark Loughry has said the building has problems that need to be addressed. But the county government cannot fix the problems because it does not own the building.
He said county officials have been looking at other possible locations for about five months.
Commissioner Jeff Culbertson said Wednesday that the county pays about $70,000 per year in rent for the building that houses the Council on Aging.
He said commissioners would like to stop paying rent and instead own a building that houses the agency. He suggested the county could purchase and remodel the current location, find another suitable building or construct a new building.
Culbertson said word of the location search somehow morphed into rumors that services are being cut at the Council on Aging.
Culbertson said he believes information about what is happening may have become twisted as it was passed from person to person.
Janice Langham, a volunteer for the Council on Aging, was among the people who addressed commissioners last week. She spoke to commissioners again Wednesday.
Langham said everyone she has talked to wants the Council on Aging to remain at its current location.
“We’re very happy with the building,” she said. “The people we’ve talked to are happy with the building.”
Kathleen Couture also addressed commissioners last week and spoke again at Wednesday’s meeting.
Couture said the building that houses the Council on Aging is showing signs of age but she would like for the agency to remain at that location.
“We want to work together with you guys,” she told commissioners.
Residents who are concerned about possible changes for the Council on Aging are planning to have a public meeting at 2 p.m. March 18 at the Riverfront Community Center.
Smith suggested forming a committee to search for a new building. He said former county employee John Forslund has volunteered to serve as chairman of the committee.