Long-time resident Bill Gibbons is hoping to show how desperately a new ground level seniors centre is required by collecting at least 200 signatures on a new petition.

He says Cochrane seniors account for a third of the town's population and have been forgotten. He believes the current Seniors on the Bow (SOTB) location upstairs in the SLS Centre is inadequate and inaccessible to many seniors.

"We need a new senior centre on the ground floor, especially to assist the people that are vulnerable, including people with wheelchairs, people with walkers, people with canes and other breathing issues," says Gibbons.

Gibbons has been pushing for a new centre for years. A few years ago, he produced a floor plan for an activity centre that would provide enough room for seniors to enjoy such things as simulated golf, billiards, darts, shuffleboard, cards, skee-ball and a basketball arcade game.

He says the current SOTB has a membership of 305, 19 people less than in 2016, and blames the smaller membership on its location.

"Location, location, location. It's definitely that. It's one of the worst locations you can think about as far as the senior centre is concerned."

The petition simply reads: "I am in favor of a more adequate and accessible senior centre on the ground floor with an activity room and adequate parking."

The petition will be available to sign at various senior centres in Cochrane and at the Legion. He's also willing to provide copies to other interested people.

Once he receives at least 200 signatures, Gibbons intends to present it to town council.

"I feel confident that we can get 200 signatures and maybe even more, but that's my starting point. I'd like to get 200 signatures, which is two-thirds of the current membership of Seniors on the Bow."

Those who want more information can contact Gibbons at 406-422-8706.