Englander Demands Wilkinson Senior Center Become Cooling Center for North West San Fernando Valley
Posted by Councilmember Englander on August 26, 2016 at 5:38 PM
Today, the City Council approved my motion asking the Department of Recreation and Parks to immediately replace the HVAC system for the Wilkinson Senior Center and re-establish a cooling center for the Northwest San Fernando Valley at the Center, which currently does not have one.
The Wilkinson Senior Center is a vital community asset that provides activities, senior meals, and education services for the North West Valley’s Senior Citizen Community. It is a crucial part of our Senior Services network.
Recently, one or more of the Center’s HVAC systems went out, leaving an especially vulnerable population without air conditioning in one of the hottest parts of the City. In addition, workers at the facility are forced to work in oppressive conditions with indoor temperatures exceeding 90-degrees at times.
This summer alone, the system has already been serviced several times. The Council office has been informed by the Recreation and Parks Department that the equipment is slated for replacement in the Fall. At this point, a more cost effective option would be to replace the unit immediately, rather than wait until the cooler months, when the need is significantly reduced.
Additionally, The Wilkinson Senior Center at one time served as a Valley Cooling Center – a much needed option for residents without air conditioning in the North West Valley. Recently, however, when the Valley Cooling Center list was released, not only was the Wilkinson Senior Center not on the list, there was not a single cooling center in the North West Valley. There appears to be two cooling centers in Canoga Park and the rest of the locations are in the East Valley.
It is an urgent need for the City to establish at least one Cooling Center in the North West Valley – and it would make the most sense for that location to be the Wilkinson Senior Center.
-Mitchell Englander, Councilmember Twelfth District