Higbee Senior Center to close

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HIGBEE - The Higbee Senior Center will close its doors in 10 days. The board of directors said it can no longer afford to run the center.

The center allows seniors and people with disabilities to dine in for $5. It also delivers 175 meals to home-bound seniors around the city. Total costs are about $12,000 monthly for those services.

Volunteer Betty Wells said the center's closing will mostly impact those who depend on meal delivery.

"It worries me because of the people we take meals-on-wheels to that cannot do it for themselves," she said. "This is the only good meal they get. And the only time some of these people see anybody is when we take food out to them."

Funding for the shelter typically comes from a grant from the Missouri Department of Transportation, donations and revenue from the $5 dine-in meals.

Board member Ted Rathburn said MoDOT refused to renew the grant this year. He said the center has also seen a decrease in donations. 

"With the financial picture being the way that it is, we are having a difficult time keeping staff," he said. 

The center's administrator, Linda Peterson, said the city is considering buying the center's building to use for Higbee's city council.

The board will meet with the city Monday to discuss a final plan for the center.