Lynn Haven to take over operations at senior center

LYNN HAVEN, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - The Lynn Haven Senior Center will continue to keep its doors open, but it's what's on the inside that could change.

Letters were sent to Lynn Haven seniors and city leaders informing people that the Bay County Council on Aging will not renew its contract with Lynn Haven to operate the Lynn Haven Senior Center.

"It'll be operated in a different way than the Council on Aging is able to operate it," Beth Coulliette, CEO of Bay County Council on Aging, explained.

In part, a letter to city leaders reads, "We are pleased that you have explored the options of operating the Center internally and you are assuring the seniors of better quality meals and services at no cost to the seniors."

"We have to follow grant rules and requirements and a lot of the things that the seniors have said that they wanted with the city exploring the options are things that we would not be able to provide," Coulliette said.

This comes after Lynn Haven City Manager Michael White led a town hall with seniors and the center to determine if the city itself should take over the Senior Center.

"I think we, the City of Lynn Haven, does a tremendous job in taking care of its animals, taking care of the kids, and all of the programs we offer," White said.

He said one of the most significant changes coming to the Senior Center is the creation of a senior citizens committee.

"It'll give an avenue for a lot of people to have a voice," White said.

The Council on Aging will continue its work in other parts of Bay County and is looking toward the future.

"We'll be opening another site and that, in the Lynn Haven area. Not in the City of Lynn Haven, but in the Southport area possibly or the Hiland Park area," Coulliette said.

The Council on Aging will be removing its items that it purchased for the Senior Center at the end of the month.

Coulliette said this is because the council has to keep track of inventory, however, she said she hopes the city will buy some of the items.