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Published: Wednesday, 4/11/2007

Facilities wanted for youths, seniors

BY ERIKA RAY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Pemberville residents want more community facilities, including one for youth and another for senior citizens.

They'd also like to see more opportunities for volunteers.

Those results and others emerged from a recent community needs assessment survey undertaken by the Pemberville Lions Club.

Only about 1.5 percent of the village's 1,339 residents filled out the survey.

"What I gathered is they wanted something for the elderly, something for the youth, and to help dress up the downtown," said Stevan Spahn, the Lion Club's acting president and treasurer.

Most who filled out the survey also said that residents are not aware of community services and facilities, and that there was more room for additional volunteer programs.

Lions Club officials said they are willing to take the lead group in organizing volunteers and providing youth, senior citizen, and community services.

But to do so, they'll need to build up their group, Mr. Spahn said.

The 35-year-old club has 16 members, down from about 30 several years ago, said Jerry Smith, district membership chairman.

In the past, the Lions Club has helped the community by donating money to several organizations, collecting old glasses for those in need, buying a hearing apparatus for a student at the Eastwood Local School district, and purchasing an electronic scoreboard for the local ball park.

Members are hoping to build up more interest in the local Lions Club through the survey while finding out the desires of the community.

"We thought if we did a survey and reached out to the people, maybe we could draw the people in and get them interested in meeting those needs," Mr. Spahn said. "We don't want the club to have to fold, so we're trying to have more interest, and we thought the survey might help us."

One community desire might be accomplished sooner rather than later.

Pemberville is still in the running to host the new senior center that will soon be built in southeastern Wood County.

Representatives from the Wood County Committee on Aging have been meeting with officials from Pemberville and three other Wood County villages since late last year to determine where its newest senior center should be located.

Other villages under consideration are Bradner, Risingsun, and Wayne in Montgomery Township.

If Pemberville is chosen, the new center would be given a $200 monthly discount on its utility bill. Pemberville councilmen said the gesture would show community and village support for the facility. Council voted 4-1 last month to allow the money to be forgiven using the Board of Public Affairs Enterprise Funds.

Councilman David Miesmer voted against the discount. Councilman Jim Barnes was absent.

The Wood County Committee on Aging has centers in Rossford, Perrysburg, Walbridge, Bowling Green, and North Baltimore.

The new site should be chosen by August.



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