Agency takes over senior centers

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By David Giuliani

The new agency running the senior centers in San Miguel County says it wants to improve services.

The agency, SER de New Mexico, is responsible for meals at the senior centers, delivering meals to the homebound and providing transportation services. As of Sept. 15, the organization runs the centers in Las Vegas, Pecos and the village of San Miguel.

Representatives of SER, a nonprofit group, met with Las Vegas seniors Wednesday to find out about what they want out of the senior center.

“This is a good opportunity for us,” Pete Salazar, president of SER, told the City Council at its meeting this week.

The city owns the Sabino Street building that houses the Las Vegas center.

Dave Hill, the organization’s executive vice president, said SER has no secrets from the community and is willing to show its financial statements. He said the group held the meeting with the seniors to let them know what’s going on and have them spread the word to others.

“We’ll tell you how the center is doing — the good and the bad,” he said.

He said SER’s only statutory responsibilities are the meals and transportation services. But he said the group is looking to provide more than that to give seniors well-rounded lives.

“We want to make sure we have activities. Socialization is important,” Hill said. “You can’t expect them to watch TV all day and have a warm meal at the center and say it’s worth it.”

He said that until Sept. 15, the state Health Department contracted with the Non-Metro Area Agency on Aging to provide services for services in San Miguel County.