‘It’s just sad’: elderly people forced out of Bayleyton community centre

Baileyton, Ala. (WAFF) – Seniors in Bayleyton are sharing their dismay at the closure of a place they call a second home.

The president of the Bayleyton Senior Center was notified last week that they had to vacate the building. The notice, signed on March 8, gave them just 10 days to leave.

Vice President James Fisher says when a new administration was elected, the senior center’s funding was cut, the locks were changed and access to the center’s bus was limited. It was the last time Fisher was served with this vacancy notice.

“We’ve got to vacate this building here, and of course the warehouse behind it. It’s just really sad that it’s come to this, it really does. Because we all love coming here,” he says. Fisher.

When asked about the decision, Mayor Windell Calloway replied, “It’s the law.” According to him, individuals are not allowed to use the buildings owned by the municipality without paying compensation.

“An individual cannot use any city property without paying for it. So in the past when they were allowed to use it, they were actually breaking the law. Whether you like things or not, you have to follow the law,” Calloway said.

She claims she offered the senior center the option to pay to use the space whenever they wanted, but the center refused. Calloway says the previous administration let a lot of things go wrong, but he’s on a mission to keep his record clean.

Calloway hopes to use the building as a hub for the entire Bayleyton community, allowing everyone to come together. However, members of the senior community remain uneasy.

“There [are]168 hours a week and we only use five hours of it. We have been here for 11 or 12 years. Now they have chosen to leave us. There’s no reason for that,” says Fisher.

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