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Scituate Council on Aging, July 9, 2008
Scituate Council on Aging Board of Director’s Meeting
July 9, 2008
1. Meeting called to order at 6:01PM. Present: Rocky Carrabes – Acting Chairman, Jim Harmon, Brendan Lynch, Pam Davis, Joan Powers, Joan Paley, Jerry Fierimonte, Florence Choate- Acting Director, and Shawn Harris – Liaison.
2. The minutes from the May and June meetings were accepted.
3. The new members to the board, Gerard Fierimonte, Joan Paley, and Joan Powers were welcomed and introduced. Meg Stillman was unable to attend the meeting.
4. Elections: Officers for the 2008 – 2009 year were not elected as the new members had not been sworn in prior to the meeting. Elections will be done at the August 13th meeting.
5. Director’s/Staff Reports
Transportation: The LINK (MBTA) numbers are higher, at 69. We are over budget on MAP by $773. Our costs are higher because of the cost of gas. More seniors and their children are calling asking for ride service most likely because they too are affected by the high fuel costs. LINK is easy to use, accommodates handicapped with wheelchairs and walkers. The Medical Connection (Scituate funded) provided 10 rides; it goes to Weymouth, Brockton, everywhere but Boston. Volunteers provided 8 rides.
Director Report: We ended the fiscal year without any major crisis. We didn’t have to take any vans off the road because of the rising fuel costs. Mary Gallagher was helpful in transferring monies to cover these high gas costs. We ended the year with a balance of $46,318.60. This includes the feasibility study ($19, 243.56). The State grant was increased by $3,000. We have $26K for a medical transportation driver. We have seen an increase of seniors using the COA center for programs and outreach advocacy. Fuel assistance has been a big need. Medical rides take precedence over all other services. We are running vans to Shaw’s and Walmart. Vans hold 8 people. The lunch this week is sponsored by Weymouth Health Services. There is space for 30 people and we can’t accommodate all the requests. Seniors are encouraged to call Sunrise and Golden Living, who are always offering free lunches and get-togethers each month.
The mental health focus group will meet on the 17th and SSES will be here for that. Our new programs, quilting and art classes, will resume in the fall. They were very popular. There isn’t a lunch on the 17th, it’s been moved to the 24th.
Outreach Report: Nancy has seen a huge increase in people asking for help with food stamps. The laws regarding eligibility have changed and more people will be able to get assistance. People can earn more money and still qualify and they can deduct more medical expenses. Brendan Lynch stated that the food stamps are now a form of a credit card, not stamps, making transactions easier. They are credited for covered purchases and pay the balance themselves.
Florence noted that a new program in the fall will be “Memoirs” for people who want to leave a history of their life for their children. They will learn tips on writing their story and hopefully be able to do a tape at the end of the course.
6. Old Business:
Feasibility Study- Pam Davis and Florence Choate met with members of the Public Building Committee, and Shawn Harris – liaison to PBC, on June 26th. They discussed the reasons for wanting a study done (increased space using the second floor) and listed the major requirements to be included in the expansion. The points raised by the PBC were the costs associated with the remodeling and a previous study done in the 80’s which showed the existing structure wouldn’t hold the necessary weight without running a line of columns down the length of the first floor. This would interfere with our present first floor usage needs. There was discussion about other buildings in Scituate that may be available in the future where the money would be better spent. Those mentioned were Gates school and St. Frances church. St. Frances is large enough to accommodate both the senior center and a new fire station the town would like to build for North Scituate residents. The lack of parking at the existing senior center is a major deterrent to investing a lot of money in it that may not be recouped or be cost effective. That feasibility study discussion was tabled for the time being.
Jim Harmon asked about discussing a modular building at the Branch Street location built on a slab vs. the conventional construction method. Shawn said PBC believes that because of the location, site work would still be at least $300K. Joan Paley recalled that Mr. McGowan, who went through the building last fall, is an engineer, and he felt it was structurally sound enough for the remodel. Mrs. McGowan has the original plans. Florence mentioned that asbestos will be a major and costly problem to be considered because of the ADA guidelines. Pam Davis will look into searching the archives for the original study and Joan Paley will help.
Nita Stroud has contacted Wheeler Park and Central about having get-togethers for the seniors at those locations. The seniors are receptive to the idea and just want refreshments, not activities like Bingo. Florence doesn’t want to do anything until a new housing director is hired. We will work with that person to hold the get-togethers. It wouldn’t be right to go behind the back of the housing director as it’s important to have a good working relationship with them. Nita also mentioned that we may not have a lot of participation in some if the trips because of the expense. Seniors at the housing facilities may not be able to afford them because they don’t have the money. Florence agreed that trips are taken by those who can afford them. We don’t have the funds to subsidize trips for other seniors. We have tried meet and greet and movies at COA and had poor response. The Methodist church does twice monthly programs and we use our vans to transport people at our cost. Rocky mentioned that a poll taken at the luncheon for Bingo showed no one was interested.
7. New Business
Nita Stroud asked why the arthritis class was cut to once a week and Florence said the decision was made by the class because the instructors wanted more time off during the summer. Nita provided copies to the board members of the COA charge of responsibilities as detailed in the general bylaws section 20510. This was to clarify a discussion at the previous meeting about the role of the COA board.
Pam Davis asked who was responsible for maintenance of the COA building, as there seems to be a lot of work needed and Florence spends time trying to find people to do the necessary work. Per Shawn Harris, Buildings and Grounds dept. is responsible, Mike Breen is in charge. Florence noted that DPW had recently repainted sidewalk and striping in the parking lot.
Joan Paley suggested we rename the newsletter as several people don’t care for “Seasoned Living”. Florence will put a notice in the next newsletter asking for suggestions and the board will vote on a new name.
8. SSA Update
The annual Board meeting for SSA will be on July 12th at 11AM. A planned luncheon has been tabled until fall; the hope to have an open house to honor all the volunteers.
Old Business cont’d:
Brendan Lynch asked Shawn to find out what happened at the town meeting regarding the authorized but unfunded $1.9M for the Branch St. senior center. He has never had a response from Rick Bowen. At the dress rehearsal the morning of the town meeting, there was no discussion of the $1.9M money disappearing if the vote for $3.4M failed. It should still be on the books
Meeting adjourned at 7:10 PM
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Scituate Council on Aging Minutes, July 8, 2009
Scituate Council on Aging Minutes, May 13, 2009
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Scituate Council on Aging Minutes, March 11, 2009
Scituate Council on Aging Minutes, January 7, 2009
Scituate Council On Aging Minutes, December 10, 2008
Scituate Council On Aging Minutes, November 12, 2008
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Scituate Council on Aging Minutes, September 10, 2008
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