LETTER: Consider These 3 Things When Voting For A New Senior Center On November 19

Dear Editor:

On Saturday November 19 at 9 AM, there will be a Special Town Meeting held in the High School Auditorium. Residents will be voting for the construction of a new Senior Center. The road to reach this point has been long and at times bumpy. It has been a grassroots effort by a group of seniors that began in 2019. Following visits to Senior Centers in 5 neighboring towns, a group of 30 seniors made a PowerPoint presentation to the Board of Selectmen on December 16, 2019 to outline the deficiencies in the current building and programs and the need for a new Senior Center. The Selectmen agreed to put an Article on the Warrant for the 2020 Annual Town Meeting to fund a Feasibility Study, which would determine the location, size, schematic design and cost of a new Senior Center. The Article was overwhelmingly approved by the voters.

The seniors have stayed engaged throughout the Feasibility Study; attending the 27 Building Committee Meetings to offer comments and suggestions; making visits to the potential building sites; attending public forums; and attending Selectmen meetings. The Feasibility Study phase is now done. Now we need to move on to the construction phase.

I would ask the residents to consider the following:

  • The current Senior Center is in a former school built in 1935. It was renovated in 1986 (mostly by volunteers) to give seniors a place to meet.
  • As of 2020, the senior population (age 60 and over) was 6,014. It is projected to increase to 8,000 by 2030.
  • The total project cost is $17,264,561. It will be financed by $6 million from the town’s cash reserves and the balance from a bond issue, as was discussed at the Finance Committee Public Hearing held on October 18. The annual payment of the bond debt will be in the town’s annual operating budget. The project will be paid for within the town’s tax levy limit and will not require an override of Proposition 2-1/2. This project will not increase your taxes.

As you can see from the grassroots effort of seniors outlined in this letter, Wilmington seniors are an active group. Now we need your help to take the next step on the road to making a new Senior Center a reality. We need you to come to the Special Town Meeting on Saturday November 19 at 9 AM at the High School Auditorium and vote YES to approve the funds for the construction of a new Senior Center.

George R. Allan

New Senior Center

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