OPINION: Is There a Future for Island Seniors, Center 4 Life

The Santiva Chronicle publishes opinions and letters on topics that are important to Sanibel and Captiva. They may be submitted via e-mail at news@santivachronicle.com. Views expressed are not necessarily those of the Santiva Chronicle.

Is there a future for the Island Seniors/Center4Life?

After ten years, Sanibel City Council authorized taking out a loan to buy the Sanibel Captiva Community Bank at 2475 Library Way for the future home of Island Seniors, Inc. The purchase was made in September 2019. Then COVID hit. The current Center4Life was closed, the bank remained in place waiting for their new accommodations to be completed.

And, now the City Manager has proposed options for funding the Police Department modernization program using the loan money specifically ear marked for the Center4Life renovation. Three options were presented for discussion at the April 6th City Council meeting. The police department needs a temporary (2 years estimate) location during the renovation of their current location. Where?

Well, here are the three options discussed:
1. Move the police into the purchased SanCap Community Bank and use the balance of the loan designated for renovation for the new Center4Life building to modernize the police building.
2. Get an additional loan and move forward on the Police modernization plan and the Center4Life renovation.
3. Not open the old Center4Life for Island Seniors, farm them out to other organizations and move the police department into the old building until a new one is completed using the loan money specifically ear marked for the new Center4Life renovations.

Is this how the City takes care of its Seniors? Without contacting the Board of Directors of Island Seniors, Inc. the City Manager is asking other organizations to take over Island Seniors programming. Our activities have already been suspended for over a year. How much longer do the Seniors of this community have to wait?

Ten years of planning has been bounced around; ten years Island Seniors have worked closely with the City to “make do”, and now the City wants the Seniors to wait another five years or scatter them among other organizations? We, at Island Seniors, Inc., are more than 800 strong, we pay taxes to the city, many of us are full time residents, we vote and we are an active engaged community. We need socialization, sense of belonging and stimulations that only comes from Island Seniors programming for the entire senior community.

We ask again, Is there a future for Island Seniors on Sanibel?

Island Seniors Inc. Board of Directors

Comments (1)

  1. Ellen Walz Svenson

    When I retired and could spend more time on Sanibel, I found the Center 4 Life. (My family has owned property on Sanibel since 1977). I eagerly came to the Chair Yoga classes and faithfully played bridge there each week. Although I attended the Sanibel Congregational Church of which I am now a member, it was at Center 4 Life that I made my close friends on the Island. The Center 4 Life has provided Sanibel residents and visitors with so many learning opportunities as well as those for socializing. Please help get the Center 4 Life back in full swing.

Leave a Comment

We are interested in articulate, well-informed remarks that are relevant to the article. We welcome your advice, your criticism and your unique insights into the issues of the day. To be approved for publication, your comments should be civil and avoid name-calling. It may take up to 24 hours for your comment to appear, if it is approved.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.