A senior center could be among the things growing in Clayton.
The Town Council on Monday entertained the idea of a new or expanded senior center after a presentation by Neal Davis and Madison Cauley of Community and Senior Services of Johnston County. The duo, the organization’s executive director and community services director, respectively, told councilmen that demand for senior programs is on the rise.
“It’s a fantastic problem to have,” Cauley said.
Cauley noted that when Selma moved into a 7,000 square-foot senior center, the number of program participants grew from 40 to 1,000. For Clayton, she recommended something in the 15,000 to 20,000 square-foot range.
“By 2025, there will be more people over 65 than in school,” Cauley said, referring to the country’s long-living population as the “Silver Tsunami.” “These are active 85-year olds.”
Looking regionally, Cauley said Goldsboro had tripled the number of participants in its senior programs with a new center.
“It’s an ‘If you build it, they will come’ scenario,” she said.
Councilman Art Holder said the council might be talking about its own members when discussing Clayton’s senior population.
“The council needs to think hard about the bigger picture,” he said.” We need to address what we can do and when.”
Mayor Jody McLeod said he supports a new senior center in Clayton but would want the town’s parks and recreation department to play a major role in running its programs.
“We’ll take this all under advisement,” the mayor said.
Also on Monday, the council once again tabled the proposed rezoning of the Gordon tract, which aims to put 177 homes on 61 acres. A public hearing was originally scheduled for Sept. 8 but was postponed until the Sept. 21 meeting. The council gave no reason for the latest delay.
The Gordon tract sits at the intersection of Glen Laurel and Powhatan roads on land north of the Grifols and Novo Nordisk plants. At its July meeting, the planning board recommended the council OK the rezoning and subdivision.
Drew Jackson: 919-553-7234, Ext. 104; @jdrewjackson