QUESTION: Why is there no community center for seniors in the north part of Longview? The senior center owned by Longview Regional was such a nice place when I first moved here about six years ago. Now, the only senior center is in South Longview. Is there any way parks and recreation could buy that building and reopen it? To me it’s a desperate need for seniors to have someplace to go.

ANSWER: Answers to these kinds of questions almost always come down to money.

Longview Parks and Recreation Director Scott Caron tells me the parks department doesn’t have the money necessary to purchase property or build something new, but consideration of this kind of issue is partly why the Senior Advisory Committee was created.

He noted the city has three “great facilities” that serve seniors (and others) through a variety of programs in addition to the Green Street Recreation Center — the Paula Martin Jones and Broughton recreation centers. (Yes, the facilities are all in South Longview.)

“The purpose of the Senior Advisory Committee is to advise staff on issues important to Longview’s senior citizen population including Green Street Recreation Center programs, policies and operations. Meetings took a hiatus for COVID but picked back up in the fall,” Caron said in an email. “The focus to date is identifying all of the services available within the community for seniors (food, transportation, programming, etc.). Once we have that, we can figure out the gaps, and how we may be able to address them. As we believe it is a community challenge, partnering with various groups and organizations will be critical.”

The city is in the process of updating its Parks Master Plan, and Caron pointed to that as a way for the public to be part of the conversations about services the department provides.

“The final document needs to reflect the needs, wants and priorities of our residents moving forward, and certainly one of those may be doing more with our senior population,” Caron said.

Residents will have multiple opportunities to provide input into that process, in-person and online. Watch for announcements and social media posts for more information.

Q: I have seen workers in the former Church’s Chicken building at the corner of Birdsong and Mobberly. Any idea what it’s going to be used for?

A: I spoke with one of the building’s owners, Murray Moore (yes, that Murray Moore, the former Longviw mayor), and he said the building has been sitting vacant for a long time and has deteriorated. Right now, it’s just getting some repairs and improvements made to prepare it for leasing. No tenant has been finalized for the building.

Moore also said this week that Dustin Eberhart with Eberhart Miller in Longview has been hired to market the property.

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— Answer Line appears Wednesday and in the Weekend edition. Email questions to answerline@news-journal.com, leave a message at (903) 232-7208 or write to P.O. Box 1792, Longview, TX 75606.

Jo Lee Ferguson wishes she kept her maiden name - Hammer - because it was perfect for a reporter. She’s a local girl who loves writing about her hometown. She and LNJ Managing Editor Randy Ferguson have two children and a crazy husky.