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Council donates $50K to Cedar Seniors

Xavier Smith • Mar 7, 2017 at 6:46 PM

The Lebanon City Council agreed to donate $50,000 to a local senior center and vowed to take a closer look at donations in the future.

The group agreed to donate the money to the Cedar Seniors center after Councilor Rob Cesternino said he discovered the privately owned senior center needed about $30,000 for building maintenance.

“They operate under a shoestring budget with all private donations,” Cesternino said last week, adding the group lost its biggest donor this year.

The center at 226 University Ave. has about 140 seniors and serves a $3 lunch on weekdays and $5 lunch on Friday. Cesternino said the extra funding would assist with some of those meals this year.

He highlighted the donations made by the council to various charities and causes since he joined the council, which include the Empower Me Day Camp, Wilson County Black History Committee, Wilson County Veterans, Lebanon Senior Citizens Center and more.

“This organization has never asked for any money and I let them know that I would only be supporting it one time for this,” he said.

Mayor Bernie Ash said last week although he supports the cause, the body should start to pay attention to the amount of donations given to charities. He said he has some hesitation with designating taxpayer funds to entities at times.

Ash said donations could become tricky due to the city containing “dozens” of worthy charities, groups and organizations.

Councilor Rick Bell shared similar sentiments during Tuesday’s meeting, adding the council should start to pay attention to donations moving forward.

The council’s latest donation went to Empower Me Day Camp for $400,000, while it also donated $400,000 to the Lebanon Senior Citizens Center last year for the center’s expansion project.

 

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