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New lease ensures Senior Center future for decades

Senior Center Director Kathy Motsinger presents the one dollar lease payment to County Mayor Mike Taylor after he signs the center’s new 20-year lease. Photo by Meg Dickens.

By Meg Dickens

The Johnson County Senior Center celebrated love and the center’s future on Friday, February 14. County Mayor Mike Taylor dropped by to sign the new lease during the center’s annual Valentine’s Day celebration. It was packed to the point that Senior Center Director Kathy Motsinger was actively looking for where to seat guests.

The Johnson County Senior Center has been on a significant incline since Motsinger took over in 2017. Membership numbers increased from 342 to over 1,300, with approximately 1,000 of these as active members. Both Mayor Taylor and County Attorney Perry Stout cited statistics that the Johnson County Senior Center has the most participation per capita of any senior center in the surrounding areas. This is part of why the Johnson County Commissioners granted Motsinger a part-time assistant and raise back in November 2019.

The Johnson County Senior Center is owned by the county and pays one dollar for a lease every decade. The Johnson County Commission approved Mayor Taylor’s request to extend the lease to 20 years for the same one dollar charge. He, Director Motsinger, and County Commissioner and Senior Center Board member Evelyn Hill signed the document one day before the current lease expired.Johnson County Lawyer Perry Stout, an avid supporter of the senior center both personally and professionally, wrote the new lease.

“That means you can sit around these tables and enjoy this good food and fellowship for 20 more years,” said Mayor Taylor before he, Hill, and Motsinger signed the new lease. “I do my best, and I think Evelyn will tell you, as the County Commission, we try to support the senior center the best we can. I hope every one of you is here to see this lease run out.”

The Johnson County Senior Center continues to grow. Wholesome events such as the Valentine’s Day event, which is part of Love Month, keep the seniors happy and active. Motsinger has reached out to county and city officials to increase funding, and it seems likely she will receive this support. The Johnson County Senior Center is continuously growing and evolving. Keep an eye out for more news on the center and local seniors in the Tomahawk.