Officials from the town of Madisonville and the St. Tammany Aging Council have been discussing the possibility of opening a senior activity center there for nearly three years.
After a setback brought on by the COVID pandemic and Hurricane Ida, it looks like the long-debated project will finally come to fruition.
The Madisonville City Council unanimously decided at its January 11th monthly meeting to lease the Old City Hall building on St. Francis Street to COAST beginning in April. An agreement for a cooperative effort between the two is subject to approval by COAST’s Board of Directors on January 26 and approval by the Governor’s Office of Aging Affairs.
However, COAST executive director Julie Agan says both approvals should be formal.
“It’s not so much endorsement as the intersection of the i and the t,” Agan told Madisonville City Council and Mayor Jean Pelloat. “We hope to get there by early April.”
Madisonville recently completed renovations to its building at 403 St. Francis Street, where Water Street meets the Chefankte River. The town government moved to a new neighborhood in nearby La. 22 two years ago, turning the old town hall into a reception hall that can be rented for parties, weddings, reunions, and more.
Ida damaged the Old City Hall, but repairs have been completed. The town and Coast co-hosted the building’s grand renovation late last year.
An agreement with COAST allows agencies to conduct activities in the building on weekdays from 8am to 2pm.Regular activities at COAST’s other centers include games, book clubs and live music. There are music, health and wellness classes, movie days, etc. The main goal of the center is to provide seniors with hot lunches cooked off-site every day, in case the client wishes.
“Each of our centers seems a little different in terms of what we offer, but primarily we offer education, socialization, nutrition and recreation,” said Agan. I also ask which direction the client wants to go…there are different activities.”
If approved, COAST will pay the town $200 a month to cover the utility bills. The agency also staffs the site for client use, provides its own office furniture for the space, and is listed as an additional insured on the property. May end on 30 days’ notice.
Madisonville’s will be COAST’s eighth senior activity center. Others are in Slidell, Covington, Mandeville, Folsom, Lacombe, Pearl River and Bush. Guests 60 and older are admitted free of charge, but must register with COAST before visiting the facility.
Peroat said seniors in the community have shown great interest in the project.
“It’s a great time to do something like this,” Perroat said. “This will benefit the people of Madisonville and the surrounding area. Some residents have joined his COAST Activity Centers in Covington and Mandeville and are excited to be here.”
Agan expects that if the COAST board and the state approve the agreement as expected, the Madisonville Center will be able to host up to 30 guests per day. will also be offered to clients who live within a few miles of the building, she said.
For more information about COAST, please visit www.coastseniors.org online or call (985) 892-0377.