Washoe County OKs funds for Incline Village senior center
Special to the Bonanza
Visit https://www.washoecounty.us/seniorsrv/ to learn more about Washoe County Senior Services.
INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — At the regular Washoe County Board of Commissioners meeting on Dec. 13, one of the items approved was a General Fund contingency transfer of $75,000 to kickstart expanding senior services in Incline Village.
“This will be the seed money to start,” says Washoe County Commissioner Marsha Berkbigler.
The expansion will include converting the old library building on 855 Alder Ave. into a new senior center offering clinical programs, nutrition, caregiver support and more.
“We want to target the people who are not physically able to get out and about,” says Berkbigler.
Working with a team of local seniors, Berkbigler says the money will allow the county to focus on remodeling the interior of the building, rolling out furniture upgrades, partitioning off rooms and possibly expanding the kitchen area.
“I see making it a campus for seniors and community services, like offering flu shots and counseling,” says Berkbigler.
Regarding funds available for senior services, Berkbigler said that a total amount of $150,000 is planned to be earmarked annually specifically for Incline-Crystal Bay, with the possibility of reserving additional funds as needed.
“The money available is for vulnerable populations, and so we need to make sure that what we’re doing is assisting this particular group as best we can,” she says.
Although there is no definite timeframe for when the senior center is expected to open, Berkbigler says the county is moving forward as quickly as it can.
Washoe County staff is meeting with Incline Village/Crystal Bay seniors every other week to start the planning process. The idea for this building is to help older adults maintain their independence, dignity and quality of life by providing social and health services.
“This is step one of really getting something started,” said Assistant County Manager Kevin Schiller.
He said that although the Alder Avenue location is a fairly new building, entrances and exits would have to be upgraded to better accommodate seniors.
Currently, the US Forest Service leases a small portion of the county-owned building, and Schiller said some redesign work will be needed to integrate all uses.
The county is also working in conjunction with IVGID to provide new services that are not currently overlapping with IVGID’s programs.
“This all came together pretty fast; it was a quick turnaround. What’s nice is that there has never been a senior center in Incline Village, so we can build it however we want,” says Schiller. “This area offers some unique opportunities and challenges that’s totally different from what we deal with in the valley. We’re really excited to get these services to Incline; it’s a big deal.
“Seniors are a vulnerable population and we want to serve them.”
“Getting this moving is a big goal for me because the truth is that seniors in Incline Village are currently not getting the same service as everywhere else,” Berkbigler adds. “This is exciting because it’s something that the seniors here have been asking for a long time. The goal of Washoe County Senior Services is to make sure that as the number of seniors living within Washoe County increases, we continue to make improvements in our ability to meet the unique needs of the senior population.
“This senior center in Incline Village is a good start.”
Kayla Anderson is an Incline Village-based freelance writer with a background in marketing and journalism. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.