The Burlington Senior Activity Center is in the former Knights of Columbus Hall at 587 E. State Street.

Facility administrator says group is looking to develop revenue streams

By Jason Arndt

Editor

The Burlington Senior Activity Center could receive another rent-free year pending approval of a lease agreement with the City of Burlington at a Feb. 4 Common Council meeting.

According to city officials, the lease agreement remains relatively unchanged compared to 2019, with exception to additional language clearly defining insurance requirements for both the city and Senior Activity Center.

City Administrator Carina Walters said city staff and attorney John Bjelejac, recommended approval of the rent-free lease to allow the Senior Activity Center more time to generate a sustainable income.

“The 2020 agreement remains virtually unchanged, allowing another year of not paying rent in order for them to continue to work towards their goals,” Walters wrote in a packet issued to the Common Council.

The Senior Activity Center previously received approval from the Common Council to use city owned property at 587 E. State Street without paying rent in both 2018 and 2019.

The administrator of the Senior Activity Center highlighted some of its accomplishments at a Jan. 21 Committee of the Whole meeting.

Administrator Susan Crane reported 5,361 visits to the center in 2019.

“At the close of 2019, the attendance was nearly 5,400,” she said. “It could be someone who comes four times a week, it could be someone who comes twice a month. We do not keep track of that.”

The Senior Activity Center saw more than 500 people use the facility each month in four of 12 months with November bringing in the highest at 566.

In addition, Crane said, the Senior Activity Center garnered income from 32 hall rentals, which were for birthday parties, anniversaries, baby showers and other events.

Budget crunch

Additionally, Crane presented the Senior Activity Center’s budget for 2020, which showed a $4,405 deficit.

Current projections show the Senior Activity Center could bring in $22,970 in revenue compared to $27,375 in expenses.

Crane, however, said she has worked diligently to cut costs and raise additional income for the Senior Activity Center through hall rentals and donations.

Crane believes she can offset the deficit through increased exposure of the Senior Activity Center’s activities, continuous partnerships with the community, grant exploration and more business outreach.

“One thing we need to keep working on is we need to keep the opportunities for people to advertise. We sent letters out at the end of the year, we had a fairly good response, and I will keep doing that,” she said, adding the Senior Activity Center could provide benefits for the business community.

      To read the entire story see the Jan. 30 edition of the Burlington Standard Press.