Home Commentary Opinion OPINION: Montpelier Senior Activity Center Serves All Seniors

OPINION: Montpelier Senior Activity Center Serves All Seniors


by Janna Clar, director, MSAC

Montpelier Senior Activity Center serves over 1,000 central Vermont seniors annually. Many people are aware of our fee-based classes and activities that require membership, but we also offer groups, meals, presentations and activities open to all seniors at no cost, regardless of membership. In fact, on average, we have over 30 hours of free weekly programming! Learn more at http://bit.ly/msacfree.

We want to address some misconceptions about our pricing and funding requests from area towns.

We have three dues levels that reflect the financial support we receive from different municipalities. Montpelier taxpayers generously support about 40 percent of our operating budget, and the city provides administrative support. Montpelier’s financial support equals about $45 per resident aged 50 or better. In turn, Montpelier residents pay the lowest rates on membership and classes. We also receive tax appropriations from five surrounding towns (U-32 district), and are asking for funding from two more this year (Northfield and Moretown).

We serve over 230 seniors in these seven towns. Our average funding request per resident aged 50 or better in these towns is just $2.79. Seniors from “supporting towns” pay slightly higher rates for classes and membership than Montpelier seniors to reflect the funding difference. If Northfield and Moretown voters approve our funding requests, seniors there will be eligible to pay these “supporting town” rates. We charge the highest membership dues to seniors from towns that don’t provide us funding. Finally, we now offer several classes to non-members and younger people, and financial aid is available to all.

We believe our services complement rather than compete with other senior centers and senior organizations. As our population continues to age, these services are increasingly vital. Thank you for your support. For more information about MSAC or funding requests, please call 223-2518, visit us at 58 Barre St., or see www.montpelier-vt.org/msac.