HOUGHTON LAKE – The Roscommon County Commission on Aging is considering a generous offer from the Roscommon County Board of Commissioners.
The council on aging board authorized Director Tom Petite to open negotiations with the county to discuss accepting a ‘gift’ of the building which formerly housed the health department. The building is located on a large lot at the corner of M-18 and M-55 in Prudenville.
Petite said the building could be used to hold an adult day care center, as well as the commission’ administrative offices. There would be some up-front costs to the commission, according to Petite, which involve rehabilitating part of the building to accommodate the change in services. He noted the building was in good condition.
The commission wouldn’t assume any debt if it acquired the building and grounds. However, the grounds host a storage area where the Roscommon County Sheriff Department stores its marine patrol equipment.
There are currently two renters in the building: Michigan Works, which is on a monthly lease; and NEMSCA, which is under and annual lease agreement. The commission could retain the revenue from those renters.
It’ unclear whether there will be additional personnel required to operate the new center.
‘It’ big enough to accommodate growth because it’ more accessible to greater numbers of people in the county,’ Petite said. ‘It’ a gamble but if we build it, they will come,’ Petite said, noting the location would be more central to county residents. ‘This is for anyone who needs care but can’t be left alone.’
In other action the board:
- Discussed bids from Culligan’ of West Branch to install water softeners at the centers in St. Helen, Roscommon and Houghton Lake. Petite noted the water at all three centers tested above average for ‘hardness,’ will can be difficult on water systems and equipment such as hot water heaters;
- Attempted to hold a closed session to discuss an ongoing personal issue between Director Petite and Roscommon Center Director Johnna Ancel. She opted, as allowed by the Michigan Open Meetings Act, to have the discussion held ‘open.’ However, the board did not vote to go into closed session, so the decision by Ancel to keep it “open” was unnecessary. A lengthy and lively discussion that involved Petite, Chairman Chuck Corwin, Ancel and various audience members did not resolve the issue; and
- Reported that the commission conducted the following business in the county (by hour) including Homemaking assistance – 862.5; Personal care – 252; and Respite – 328.5.
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