ELDERLY COMMISSION MEETING
June 26, 2006 at 11:30 am
East Windsor Town Hall
Meeting Minutes of June 26, 2006:
I. Meeting called to order at 11:38am, by Chairman.
II. Previous Minutes (April 24, 2006) reviewed by recording secretary. Motion made by Claire Badstubner to accept minutes, seconded by Elizabeth Burns.
Present Members: Claire Badstubner (Chairman), Elizabeth Burns (Municipal Agent), Cathy Drouin, Madeleine Thompson.
Absent Members: Karen Boutin
IV. Elderly Commission:
A) Member Updates:
The commission welcomed newly appointed member, Madeleine Thompson, who was sworn in today. Ms. Burns presented Ms. Thompson with an “Elderly Commission Packet” – information about the commission, including a member’s listing.
The open seat on the Elderly Commission that needs to be filled is:
Ms. Burns handed out updated Member Listings to all present.
B) Meeting Location/Times
The committee agreed to cancel meetings for July and August and to resume it’s regularly scheduled meetings in September. Recording secretary to submit memorandum to the Town Clerk. Meetings will continue to be on the 4th Monday of each month at 11:30am in the Town Hall Meeting room.
Ms. Burns announced that the commission’s budget for the upcoming year has been approved. The budget is $900.00 for the upcoming fiscal year.
Proposal of New Senior Center:
Ms. Burns proposed adding an additional project to the commission’s list, to be discussed further beginning at the September meeting. Ms. Burns suggested the addition of advocating for a new Senior Center for the town. Ms. Burns explained that if the commission wishes to pursue such a project, members would need to gather information from neighboring towns. Ms. Burns stated this would be (approximately) a 3 (three) year project. Ms. Burns expressed that three main reasons for considering such a project are that (1) the current facility is not “senior-friendly” – not easily accessible for anyone with physical limitations; (2) the facility does not have a layout to allow for various programs to be offered and (3) the Fire Department will need to expand at some point in the
Ms. Drouin stated that a project like this should be the first under a “senior friendly community” and other smaller projects would follow from there.
Commission members briefly discussed financial resources for a new senior center. Ms. Burns reminded the group about small city grants, bonding and federal monies that may be available. The members further discussed that perhaps a nominal fee for program participation in a new center may help pay expenses and overhead for some of the programs.
Ms. Badstubner questioned whether the building /planning dept. should handle this. Ms. Burns clarified that the Elderly Commission will only be responsible for gathering information and presenting it to the BOS. The Elderly Commission is not the decision maker, only the presenters. Ms. Burns suggested that the commission find out who has been involved in the planning of other towns’ senior centers (i.e. Human Services, Elderly Commission) and also suggested surveying the seniors in town to find out what they would want in a center and what programs they would utilize.
Ms. Drouin commented that a senior center in Hartford focuses on wellness. She questioned “why aren’t seniors going to the center?” – asking this question may help determine what a new senior center could offer to bring the seniors in.
The commission discussed the survey further with suggestions made of a “checklist” type survey with specific items (i.e. dial-a-ride, center hours, equipment needs/wants, programs/classes, fee-based classes) that seniors may want to prioritize. Members also discussed that due to the fact that there are many 55+ communities in town, these citizens should also be surveyed for input because what a 65 year old may “want “ in a center may greatly differ than those “wants” of an 85 year old citizen.
Ms. Burns mentioned that, currently, the senior center is not staffed enough. Ms. Drouin suggested that the commission may be able to somehow enhance volunteerism along the line.
Ms. Thompson suggested that the Elderly Commission visit/tour Spring Village and Park Hill. All members agreed this would be a good idea to see the layout of apartments as well as the set up of the entire facilities. Ms. Burns will arrange both tours.
Ms. Badstubner concluded this discussion by stating that this issue will be discussed further after the summer break (in September). In the meantime, Ms. Burns has offered to get information from the senior center in terms of who is using it, how many use dial-a-ride and other pertinent statistics.
Cell Phone Program:
Ms. Badstubner suggested that the commission move ahead with the cell phone project.
Ms. Drouin volunteered to approach the Scouts and the High School (Honor Students) to inform them of the commission’s plan to collect unused cell phone for 9-1-1 use for the seniors in town. Ms. Drouin will gather information (to present at September meeting) to let the commission now if either/both group will assist the commission in advertising and collecting the cell phones. Ms. Burns recommended that Ms. Drouin approache the new principal, David Chambers, prior to the start of the school year. Ms. Drouin also suggested that the commission collect at least a half-dozen phones before advertising.
Current drop off for unused cell phones is the Town Hall Annex.
D) LOCAL TAX CREDIT/DEFERRAL
Ms. Badstubner informed the members that the BOS is not acting on this issue as of yet and that the issue has been taken off their agenda at this time. Ms. Badstubner stated that the commission will not pursue this issue any further, just wait to hear from BOS.
Ms. Drouin asked if there are more towns that have a tax relief program than not – Ms. Burns replied that there are more towns that do not have a program in place.
Ms. Burns handed out an update on Windsor’s proposal. She informed the group that another referendum is coming up (after a major budget cut already). As of this date, it has still not passed.
Ms. Burns informed the members that she has not received an update from Tolland as of this date, but when she does, will let the members now about that town.
12:36 pm, motion made by Ms. Burns, seconded by Ms. Drouin.