Hale Center hoping to become a Certified Retirement Community - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

7/30/10

Hale Center hoping to become a Certified Retirement Community

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By Michael Slother - email

HALE CENTER, TX (KCBD) - Texas has 35 Certified Retirement Communities, and Hale Center wants to be on the list. Over the past year the city has made strides to be a retirement destination.

"If someone is looking at Texas to retire and they happen to look at a list of Certified Retirement Communities, well we want to be on that list," city manager Josh Jones said.

In order become certified there's a list of requirements cities must meet; such as available healthcare, strong public safety, volunteer opportunities, and entertainment options. Community leader Dr. Ray Freeman believes Hale Center meets those requirements, and more.

"I find that the people who retire and move here take a real active interest in our community. They're interested in beautification; they're interested in our parks and recreation," Freeman said.

The EMS recently upgraded by adding a new ambulance, with state of the art technology. While Hale Center may not have a hospital, the new ambulance has the technology and capabilities of transporting patients to major medical facilities nearby.

"We're very close to Lubbock, and to Plainview, we don't have much traffic, and it's a very low cost of living," Mayor Eugene Carter said.

In town, the Hale County Senior Center is a popular place. Seniors gather to play games, have lunch, and visit with friends. Trinie Briseno is retired and says she couldn't imagine life without a place like the center. "I couldn't do without it since I live alone now and I am retired. This is the best place I have to enjoy," she said.

Aside from fun and games, the senior center is also home to volunteer operations like Meals On Wheels. At the Hale Center Mission, computer classes are offered to help people understand newer technology. Jones thinks Hale Center is the perfect package. "If a retired couple or retiree is looking into moving here, they're going to be well taken care of," he said.

He also said the city hopes to send off their completed application in the next 4 to 6 weeks, and the city is hoping for a quick response."The people who are responsible for administering this program have given us every indication after review that everything looks good, so to speak," said Jones.

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