New wheels for SAIL

Published 1:34 am Wednesday, December 15, 2004

By Staff
From Arthur McLean
The residents of the Atmore SAIL Center received an early Christmas present Monday when Atmore Mayor Howard Shell made like Santa Claus to deliver a new van for the center.
The 15-passenger van is one of the first five vans delivered in Alabama for senior centers around the state. The delivery was made possible through a partnership between the city and the South Alabama Regional Planning Center and the Centers on Aging.
"This is a wonderful Christmas present," said Charlotte Purvis, director of the center that serves as many as 80 seniors daily, with activities and a hot meal. The van will make more excursions possible and allow the center to provide a better service to Atmore's seniors, Purvis said.
Julie McGhee, director for the South Alabama Regional Planning Center, said the van's delivery was a two-year effort.
In the midst of all the good news, however, was also an announcement that the center would have to be closed temporarily over the holidays for repairs. "The center would normally close for a while over Christmas, but we'll have to close it a little sooner to make repairs," Shell said.
Water damage from Hurricane Ivan has led to mildew and mold in some portions of the building. Shell said the city wanted to make sure that was removed to keep the building safe for the seniors who use it.
While the center is closed, meal deliveries will continue, but out of a different location on North Main Street.
The city is also being forced to consider alternative sites for the new SAIL center it intends to build. Soil samples at the proposed site on Ridgley Street behind city hall were not promising, Shell said. Hurricane Ivan forced the city to put the project on hold, and the challenge now will be to find an available contactor.

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