The first place to which I turn in my Free Press each morning is the editorial page. I love to read about what the community (and the editorial staff) is thinking.
I want to respond to the letter from Sharon Lonergan, published July 23, regarding the “new” VINE building. Anyone who has seen the facility from which VINE operates its myriad of programs for older individuals and has heard Tim Penny share the Silver Tsunami statistics (the number of seniors who will need services in the near future), will agree that they need a new place.
In fact, they are proposing to use an empty building — not build a new structure. By rehabbing the Nichols office building to include office space on the upper levels, VINE will garner revenue to offset operating costs. If they are successful with this vision, they will save Blue Earth County the cost of demolishing the building.
It sounds as though the writer thinks that this is Pam Determan’s personal mission. Lonergan should know that VINE is run by a board of directors who come from all parts of the community with various backgrounds and talents. This proposal comes from that board; Determan is their executive director and is carrying the idea to the community at large.
I know that the cost of food and energy is climbing for all of us; I know that $4.5 million is a ton of money. I also know that programs that work to keep older individuals in their homes in their “silver” years will save everyone money in the long run.