South Ogden Senior Center 01

The South Ogden Senior Center on 39th Street in South Ogden on Monday, Oct. 22, 2018.

SOUTH OGDEN — The South Ogden Senior Center will close at the end of the month and residents are encouraged to begin using the center in Washington Terrace, the city announced Wednesday.

The South Ogden City Council on Nov. 20 voted 3-2 to declare the building surplus as part of a plan to sell the property for development.

In a press release, the city administration said representatives of the two cities and Weber Human Services met Nov. 28 to plan a transition of services offered at the South Ogden center to the Washington Terrace location.

The cities own the buildings, but Weber Human Services provides staff and programming.

The South Ogden council voted to close the senior center, at 580 39th St., and the old city building next door, action that also ousts the Northern Utah Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners nonprofit. The city said it could no longer afford to operate the buildings and could make $800,000 or more by selling the property.

While seniors can attend any of the other senior centers in Weber County, South Ogden officials said they believe the Washington Terrace Center, 1½ miles away, is the most likely replacement location.

As of Jan. 1, all programs, including meals, classes and tax return assistance, will transfer to the Washington Terrace center, 4601 S. 300 West.

South Ogden seniors are invited to attend the holiday lunch at noon Dec. 14 at the Washington Terrace center. Weber Human Services will provide free transportation from the South Ogden center to the Washington Terrace center for the lunch, the press release said.

The South Ogden center’s holiday lunch will still be held Dec. 21 as scheduled.

Thereafter, Weber Human Services will continue to provide transportation for qualifying seniors through “The Ride” program. It provides transportation for seniors who do not have other means to get to appointments, senior centers or other interests. A $4 donation is requested but not required for each round trip. To schedule The Ride services, call 801 625-3776.

The plan to close the South Ogden center drew criticism from seniors who use the services, the center’s founder, and others including a volunteer oil painting instructor.

The Roads to Independence nonprofit of Ogden, which contracts to take its disabled clients to classes at the South Ogden center, said the closure will kill a vital outlet.

“We do not have a place to go,” said Karen Bingham, program coordinator at the Ogden agency, which contracted for its use of the center.

The South Ogden center also has allowed Bingham’s group to store its ceramics projects there, so the disabled participants do not have to bring them each time, which risks damage, Bingham said.

No other senior centers Bingham has contacted will allow storage of ceramics projects, she said.

“I’m still upset,” she said.

You can reach reporter Mark Shenefelt at mshenefelt@standard.net or 801 625-4224. Follow him on Twitter at @mshenefelt.

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