County Grant Will Allow Free and Reduced Membership for Seniors at the Saline Rec Center


A $25,000 grant from Washtenaw County will help as many as 100 senior citizens join the Saline Rec Center for free or at reduced rates.

People 60 or older who make less than $43,400 or couples making less than $49,600 are eligible for free memberships. People 60 or older making $43,600-$66,300 or couples $49,.601-$75,750 are eligible for membership at 75 percent off.

In addition, Saline area seniors who do not reliable transportation may be eligible to receive  75 percent off plus financial assistance for rides to and from the Rec Center via People's Express.

Additionally, Saline area seniors who do not have reliable transportation may be eligible to receive 75 percent off membership  costs plus financial assistance for rides to and from the Saline Rec Center via the People’s Express ride service. 

“This project has been a long time coming and a joint effort by Saline Parks and Recrea7tion, Saline Area Social Services, Washtenaw County and People’s Express,” said Recreation Manager Laura Rutkowski for Saline Recreation. “This is a great new initiative to support Saline seniors with meeting their health and wellness goals.”

Current members of the Saline Rec Center are not eligible for the discounts.

Any interested seniors should visit the Saline Recreation Center at 1866 Woodland Drive or
contact Laura Rutkowski at

The city is considering a $7 million improvement to the Rec Center. Revenues at the center have not fully rebounded since the pandemic. They;re still about $200,000 a year south of where they were pre-COVID-19. In 2023, the city spent more than $400,000 subsidizing the center.

Council heard a presentation from Rutkowski and Parks and Rec Director Sunshine Lambert at Monday's meeting.

Mayor Brian Marl credited county commissioner Shannon Beeman for helping to get the grant for Saline.

Councillor Jack Ceo asked what would happen a year from now when the grant funding runs out. Lambert said the city could apply for the grant again and either award memberships to new people or reduce discounts to share among more people.

Lambert, asking a question from Councillor Janet Dillon, said while the Rec Center works with agencies like the senior center and Community Education, this program was not affiliated.

Having People's Express involved in the discount caught the attention of Councillor Nicole Rice.

"Folks in Saline need Peoples Express to be reliable for us," Rice said.

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