Senior Center, BVCOG divided over cash flow

By: David Norris Email
By: David Norris Email

A senior center in Brenham is facing some tough financial times, but officials say it's not because of a lack of funds.

The Washington County Healthy Living Association feeds close to 100 seniors a day at the Knights of Columbus Hall. They deliver meals to another 70 home-bound seniors.

"For many, this is the only place some of these people have to eat," said Willy Dilworth, Vice President for the Board of Directors for the Association.

Officials with the center said about 40 percent of their operating budget comes from the state. That money first goes through the Brazos Valley Council of Governments (BVCOG). Center officials said the problem isn't that the money isn't coming in, it's just not coming in on time.

Steve Miller is the Secretary Treasurer for the center. He said it can sometimes take up to 30 days to get a check once they submit an invoice. He said they're currently working on a new building for the center, and they need every dime.

"I can't draw money out of the building fund to help the operation," said Miller. "because that's money people have given us for the new building."

Officials with BVCOG said their records show differently. Ronnie Gipson with the Area on Aging division said in the last 12 months, they've never sent a check out later than ten days after they received an invoice.

"To them, it may seem like it's taking long," said Gipson.

Gipson said every invoice must first be carefully looked over before it's processed.

"We then process and move that invoice forward to our finance department," said Gipson. "Our finance department cuts checks once a week every week."

Senior Center officials said their records show otherwise, and they'd like the BVCOG to get the checks out a little faster.

"I understand things happen. But it's made it harder and harder for those of us at the senior center to meet our budget every month," said Dilworth. "It's hard to plan on a check every month that may or may not show up when you expect it to."

While officials on both sides disagree, both have said they'd like to sit down and talk things through.

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