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Northampton plans to reopen senior center

JACKSON – A recent property transfer will help Northampton County move forward in serving senior citizens in the community.

The county was deeded four parcels, which formerly housed the J.W. Faison Senior Center program, from property owner Roanoke Amaranth Community Health Group. Three of those parcels are located in Jackson while the fourth is a related property in Seaboard.

Following a closed session at their meeting on Jan. 4, the Board of Commissioners approved a payment of the outstanding taxes on two of those parcels in order to facilitate the closing of the property transfer.

Those amounts were $456.44 on parcel 02-02020 and $7,005.45 on parcel 13-01108.

Commissioner Nicole Boone made the motion and Commissioner Kelvin Edwards seconded. The vote was unanimously in favor.

The J.W. Faison Senior Center, which was an independent nonprofit organization and not a county-operated program, closed permanently in June 2019 after citing funding issues. The building was left vacant, and the commissioners expressed a desire to start up a county-operated program to fill the void left behind.

Discussions of the senior program continued occasionally last year, even as recently as the Dec. 7 meeting when Northampton County Economic Development Director Franklin Williams updated commissioners on various projects. He recommended the county try to acquire the building, noting that it was in a location near other county-owed properties and should only need minimal renovations to be operational again.

“We’re the only county in our region that does not have a senior center owned and operated by the county,” said Board Chair Charles Tyner at the December meeting.

After the property transfer is complete, they’ll be one step closer to that goal to serve the county’s senior citizens once again.