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Mora County Notebook - Groundbreaking held for senior center

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By Ruth Fort

Recently, a great event took place in Wagon Mound as a group of people gathered on the outskirts of Wagon Mound for a groundbreaking ceremony for the new senior citizens center.

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Wagon Mound Mayor Laudente Quintana greeted attendees and introduced the guests. The Mora Senior Center and the village of Wagon Mound were well represented. Among those who attended was Marino Rivera, the director of the Mora/Wagon Mound Centers. Those who took part in the program representing their part in the project thus far were: Gabriel Sisneros, consultant and lobbyist for Wagon Mound; Melvin Martinez and Michael Freeman, architectural consultants; Arturo Arguello, former mayor of Wagon Mound; Larry Franken representing  Franken Construction and others interested in the project, including Rivera.

Rivera said he really enjoys working with the seniors. He said they are a source of wisdom, and he feels they are due respect because of their experiences. Everyone congratulated the village of Wagon Mound, celebrating  the forthcoming addition to their village. Plans for the future are to make this area a community site, besides the beautiful building to house the senior center.

Attendees were told about the struggle to receive the money to build the new center. The first appropriation of $600,000 was made around 2006, and little by little more money was received over the next seven years until there was $1,065,000 for the project.

The first two appropriations ($750,000) will be used for the first phase of the project. The facility will be functional when the first phase of the project is finished. The legislatures’ 2014 appropriation of $290,000 will be available when the bonds are sold. The facility will provide many activities for the seniors, giving them access to computers, computer classes, bingo, a lending library, dances and so forth.

The current senior center in Wagon Mound provides meals five days a week, and 32 people participate in these meals and 34 people have home delivered meals. The center provides transportation to and from the center for 12 individuals.

Since January the center has provided 958 congregate meals and 2,050 home delivered meals and 92 units of transportation. The senior centers are managed by the Mora Valley Community Health Services and employ four individuals at the center. Seniors 60 years and older are eligible to participate in senior center activities and meals.

After the program the Franken employees passed out gold plated shovels for the groundbreaking. A delicious lunch was then served at the current senior center in Wagon Mound.

Ruth Fort is a Mora County correspondent. She may be reached at (575) 387-6523 or ruthfortchacon@yahoo.com.