EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- A listening session for the 2019 Eau Claire County budget was held at the L.E. Phillips Senior Center in Eau Claire Thursday night.
The main topic of discussion was the funding of the center, which recently lost a significant grant.
"Pretty much everybody here chips in and helps,” says Shirley Stein, a participant of the senior center.
The listening session is an opportunity for the Eau Claire county board to listen to what's important to locals and how best the county should spend its money.
“It's phenomenal what they do here, for the amount of money and it's because of people donating time,” says Alex, another senior center participant.
The L.E. Phillips Senior Center receives funding from the city, county and grants.
For the first time ever it will not receive a grant from United Way, this year’s amount is $22,000.
"It does make a huge impact on our budget obviously, mostly impacts on the programs we can deliver for the aging population,” says Executive Director, Mary-Pica Anderson.
Despite the loss, Pica-Anderson says the center is blessed with participants willing to step up, hold fundraisers and find ways to fill the gaps.
"I have a lot of confidence that they love this building, they love these programs, they’ll continue to work hard to find ways to raise funds,” she says.”
Because programs surrounding fitness and mental health can be so vital for the aging population, Pica-Anderson says she's thankful for listening sessions like Thursdays.
"I think it never hurts to let people know how much you appreciate their support. We really appreciate both county and city support tremendously."
For center participants to meet the board members and express how important the center truly is to them.
Community members also discussed renewable energy on a county-wide basis.
The Eau Claire County Board expects to adopt the 2019 budget in November.