Monday, May 10, 2010

City Selects 50 Senior Centers to Close by David W. Chen - City Room Blog -

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In Manhattan, the number is 16.

In Brooklyn, 11, and Queens, 10.

In the Bronx, it’s 9.

And for Staten Island, it’s 4.

Add the numbers up, and what you get is a borough-by-borough breakdown of the 50 senior centers that are slated to be closed on July 1 by the Bloomberg administration as a result of budget cuts.

The city’s commissioner for the Department of the Aging, Lilliam Barrios-Paoli, released the list on Monday during a briefing with members of the City Council. Someone who attended the briefing provided the list to The Times.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg formally announced that he planned to close 50 senior centers during his executive budget on Thursday. He said that the centers had to be closed because of a budget shortfall that he blamed on Albany’s inability to come up with extra money. Another 25 centers could be closed on July 1, too, if the city receives less money from Albany than it currently expects.

The administration picked the 50 centers largely on the basis of three criteria: the fewest meals served, the fewest hours open and the most maintenance or management problems.

The council member who stands to lose the most senior centers — seven — is Inez E. Dickens, who represents Harlem. And four are slated to close in the district of Melissa Mark-Viverito, who represents East Harlem and northern Manhattan. In all, 28 of the council’s 51 members have at least 1 senior center that is slated to close, though people who attended the briefing stressed that the final list is subject to change.