To the editor:

We are concerned citizens who would like to respond to the March 5 Times article regarding the Council on Aging. The Council has been in its current location for more than 10 years and the building has been a very good fit for the multitude of educational classes, exercise programs and social activities provided by the Council. The programs provided by the Council on Aging help to keep seniors actively engaged in the community. The Council’s Meals on Wheels and other in-home support programs provide additional help for many of the area’s homebound seniors.

All of these programs require adequate classroom and meeting space, enough storage facilities for supplies and equipment and sufficient parking for transportation service vehicles and program participants. The current location meets these needs quite well.

Any new building would need to be able to provide the above items in order to maintain the current level of services provided by the Council. Other areas of concern for seniors include easy building accessibility, level and adequate parking spaces and traffic controls such as turn lanes and traffic lights in high-traffic areas in order to ensure safety of all. Keeping the Council located in the county seat maintains easier access to seniors throughout the county. Any plan to combine the COA in the same building with the crisis center would not be compatible with a senior population. We are asking that the Leavenworth County Commission seek more input from seniors before making any final decisions. Seniors and community members, please contact the Leavenworth County Commission and tell them that we need to work together to keep the Council on Aging in its current location.