ST. CLOUD - Senior citizens may be asked to pay a membership fee to use the Whitney Senior Center in the future. The St. Cloud City Council talked about ways to better fund the facility, during their work study session this (Monday) evening.

Director of Aging Services Laura Hood says the establishment of a $25 basic membership fee is being recommended. However, how to implement that fee could be challenging.

There are a lot of unknowns when you put a membership fee structure together. It's a little unwieldy out there. For instance, if you walked into Whitney tonight you would see about 250 community members there enjoying a holiday concert. What do we do with those one-time events? Do we do a membership fee to be able to come to that?

City council members were lukewarm to the idea of imposing a membership fee. No action was taken.

Other recommendations include: increasing the Fitness and Woodshop memberships from $78 to $100 for St. Cloud residents, and from $90 to $120 for nonresidents. The room rental fees could also be raised. Also, the Third Age University could go from $2.50 to $3.50 for residents, and from $3 to $4 for nonresidents.

Several city council members also expressed frustration with the lack of financial support the Whitney Senior Center gets from the surrounding St. Cloud metro area cities. Thirty-percent of the regular users of the facility are non St. Cloud residents.

The Whitney Senior Center is open Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m., and on Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. until noon.