Klamath Basin Senior Citizens Center Director Marc Kane has been going to a lot of meetings over the last year.
It’s because the center is in need of a new roof and a new heating and cooling system, and Kane is determined to make it happen.
“I’m 71, and I hope to retire someday, but I’m not going to retire until I am confidant that I’ve left this place better than I found it,” Kane said.
Kane said the roof is due to be replaced and leaks several times a year, and the heating and cooling system is nearly 15 years past its expected lifespan and has failed several times in the past.
Kane said there have been times in the winter where the heating failed and everyone had to wear sweaters and coats.
“There have been times when the air conditioning systems have frozen up on a really hot day. And and then the building gets up to 85,” he said.
He said when the roof has leaked in the past few years, the center has gotten the holes patched, but that isn’t a long term solution.
“The roof is covered with Band-Aids,” Kane said. “It’s a Band-Aid and it’s not expected to last forever.”
The senior center building belongs to the county, and the center leases it for $1 a year. County commissioners are working closely with Kane on the issue.
At the Aug. 7 county commissioners meeting, commissioners decided to send a repair person to try to fix the heating and cooling system.
Kane said he is happy that the commission is sending someone to help for free, but doubts that the old system can continue on for more than a couple years. And so, the fundraising efforts continue.
The city has granted $7,000 for the project, Sky Lakes has granted $7,500. There are several other donors interested in helping with the project, but the center is still far from reaching the goal.
Kane estimates the project could cost between $180,000 and $250,000.
Despite the fact that there is still a long way to go, Kane is hopeful that the center will find the funding. In fact, he hopes to take the project a step further and install solar panels on the new roof to help with utilities costs for the future.
The senior center provides several services for elderly people in the community, from daily meals and the Meals on Wheels program, to exercise, social and art events.
Donations to the center from individuals are welcome. Kane directed those wishing to donate to call 541-883-7171 or visit the senior center at 2045 Arthur St.