The group rode up on a bus in hopes of convincing lawmakers that the senior center project deserves to be part of Rochester's city sales tax proposal. A key House Committee recently stripped $58.5 million from the tax proposal — including $26 million for the senior center. The House Property and Local Tax Division is expected to take a final vote on the bill that includes the Rochester language. It will then head to the House Taxes Committee.
With all the baby boomers coming up the (number of) seniors is just exploding. And we are so limited in the space where we are now we need room," said Elaine Strand.
Several of the seniors said there is a serious need for additional parking that is simply not available near the center's current location on North Broadway. Several others mentioned that this project would make good use of the money by sharing space with the city's recreation center. That would allow the senior center to be used for other purposes during the evening.
Former Rochester Mayor Chuck Canfield also joined the group lobbying lawmakers.
The city needs legislative approval before it can put the sales tax issue before the voters. But House Tax Committee Chair Greg Davids, R-Preston, has questioned whether it is appropriate to use sales tax dollars for a senior center.