Frank Tanner, left, President of the Riverton Senior Citizens Center Board and Lori Webber, director of the center spoke to the city council Tuesday night. (Photo from Riverton City Council video feed)

By Ernie Over

WyoToday

The wheels are now in motion for a proposal to sustainably fund the Riverton, and perhaps other, senior citizens centers in Fremont County. At Tuesday night’s Riverton City Council meeting, President Frank Tanner of the Riverton Center asked the city council to help support the center’s effort to create a special district. Center Director Lori Webber backed up Tanner, and said the Lander Senior Center is also poised to visit its city council, depending on what happened Tuesday night. 

What happened was this: The Riverton councilors took the matter under advisement pending the receipt of more information, including how many mills the proposed district would be seeking, the district boundary and other background information. 

“We’re coming out of a horrible time with COVID. Every nonprofit I know is looking for money,” Tanner said. “We want to provide services for people to stay in their homes rather than go into a nursing home.” He told the councilors in order for that to happen, the center would need additional funding. 

Specifically, Tanner and Webber asked for the city’s support of the effort before they make a pitch to the county commissioners, who would be able to place the matter on the next general election ballot, if they so wished. Otherwise, Tanner said they would have to go the petition route and gather names, “and we need time to do that.”

Tanner said there are a  minimum of 3,000 people living in Riverton who are eligible for the extra services they could provide, “and last year we provided services to 1,300 of those people” through the center’s existing programming. It does not, however, have adult day care for respite services for caregivers. “We’d like to do that.”