The Prairie Township Board of Trustees approved spending a little over $12,000 for the renovations of its new senior center space after residents argued the merits and cost of the center.

The Prairie Township Board of Trustees approved spending a little over $12,000 for the renovations of its new senior center space after residents argued the merits and cost of the center.

The new and downsized senior center is slated to open later this spring. It is moving from 4656 West Broad Street to 4616 West Broad Street and will be located in the same shopping plaza.

Originally, the senior center represented 8 percent of the general fund budget, it now will only take 3 percent of the general fund budget to operate, township officials said.

Residents at the meeting stated that they still had a problem with the township using tax dollars to fund something for a small segment of the population.

"I would love for you to go renovate something in my home," resident Pam Williams said.

The township could have saved even more money if trustees decided in favor a five-year lease with Nationwide instead of the three-year they opted for.

"The discount we would have received would require us to enter into a longer lease," trustee Nicole Schlosser said. "I thought a five-year lease to be too long with the respect to the possibility of other recreation centers going in."

Prairie Township is still waiting for the possibility of Columbus building a mega recreation center in the area. An announcement of whether, or not that will happen should come from Columbus this fall.

Meanwhile, the trustees are exploring other locations and possibilities as well, the board said.

"This allows us to move into a smaller space and spend less money so we can decide the future of the senior center," Schlosser said.

Renovations of the new location include new cabinetry, carpet and the installation of drywall.

One resident even suggested putting the issue back on the ballot for a vote.

"So what you are saying is if we want to build baseball diamonds on township land for the good of the community, we would also have to go to the voters?" Schlosser said. "I would wonder what kind of precedent we are setting here."Trustees said their decision to spend $12,051 for the renovations of the new location was a bargain.