OAK ISLAND, NC (WECT) – Some senior citizens in Brunswick County are nervous about possibly losing some vital services that they rely on a daily basis.
Leaders in Oak Island will consider spending cuts, which could have a major impact on the older residents in town. The Town of Oak Island is millions of dollars in debt because of a new sewer system that cost more than $100 million.
According to town manager Steve Foster, councilwoman Dara Royal recently suggested that town council should eliminate the Community Resource Center to save money.
However, that idea doesn't sit well with local seniors.
For the past 12 years, the Community Resource Center in Oak Island has been the place to go for many essential services, such as mental health management, doctor's visits for seniors, prescription medicine delivery, childcare services, and much more.
"To cut all those services would be a mistake," said Mary Ann Brewer, a senior citizen from Oak Island.
Town leaders have already eliminated the after school and pre-school activities from the center. More cuts could be on the way if council members decide to close the center for good.
One of the major concerns for seniors regarding the potential cut is transportation.
"It's very important to our seniors to have the transportation part," said Brewer. "There are a lot of people who no longer drive, and it's the only way they get out."
Seniors who rely on the center's services are worried they will have no other options.
"I'm upset because I don't know where we would get those services," said Brewer. "To have people no longer be able to go out and about will be a big blow to them. They may have to go elsewhere."
Virginia Hamrick has lived in the Oak Island community for more than 50 years. She says she's outraged that the town is even considering the idea.
"We're the ones who built this town, and now they're taking what little we have away from us," said Hamrick. "They're running off all of us older people."
Foster says at this point, the idea of eliminating the CRC is only a suggestion.
Town leaders will discuss this issue further at their next council meeting on Aug. 20. Ultimately, a final decision would have to come from a vote from town council. Leaders expect to make a final decision by Oct. 1.
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