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Senior Center hopes fundraiser support can bring A/C, roof repairs

By JOLEEN FERRIS

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - They are buried by all the rain as well as unpaid bills and now the West Side Senior Center in Utica is struggling to continue to provide a place for local seniors to belong.

The center serves around 400 seniors but that has been a tall order in this heat, because they have no air conditioning. That's only one of many challenges they're currently trying to overcome.

Several fans only blow around the hot air and the roof of the center is visibly in need of repairs. On top of that, the center's National Grid bill is $21,000.

Board President Barbara Mickler says the center has some Community Development Block Money coming from the city of Utica, but that they had been told for several weeks that the employee who cuts those checks was out on leave and that no one else can do it.

"So we get all the fans going and they do do their exercises and then toward the afternoon, this is what it'll be like for the rest of the day," Mickler said. "People will come for the lemonade just to cool down that way, but they shouldn't have to go through this."

The center isn't just waiting on that check, though to get the job done. They have some fundraisers planned.

On July 20 they are having a large scale garage sale from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. where they'll have office equipment, exercise equipment and more on sale.

On the following Friday, July 26, the center will have their first-ever clambake, but they need reservations by Monday, July 22 so that they know how much food to order. The number to call for a reservation is 315-735-0735.

Officials with the City of Utica told NEWSChannel 2 Wednesday that the woman who cuts that check was back from maternity leave that day. So officials in charge of those funds say the check should be forthcoming.

However, that won't cure all of the ills for the West Side Senior Center, which is banking on a lot of support for their fundraisers.

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