Town looks to increase senior services with $11,000 state grant

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BURRILLVILLE – Seniors in Burrillville will soon have access to some new benefits including free fitness programs, transportation to town events, and movie tickets and snacks for certain dates at the Assembly Theatre.

The town has been awarded up to an $11,087 designated grant from the state to be spent on seniors as part of a 100 percent increase on such services and centers recommended by Gov. Gina Raimondo. The state legislature approved an increase from $400,000 to $800,000 for the line item as part of the fiscal year 2019 state budget.

Burrillville’s share was determined by the percentage of residents in town over the age of 65.

“The state has notified the town – and all cities and towns – that they get a certain amount of money for senior services based on your population,” explained Town Manager Michael Woods.

A similar grant last year had to be spent quickly, and Woods noted that the money went entirely to the Glocester Senior Center.

“This year the council asked me to look at different ways and opportunities that we can serve our senior population,” said Woods.

The town received a letter from Sen. Charles Fogarty, the director of the state Division of Elderly Affairs, explaining the program in June. Since then, town officials have worked with members of the Burrillville Police Department to develop a list of programs in town worthy of the funding.

“We went to the senior complexes and talked to them as well,” said Woods.

The list, approved by the Town Council for submission to the state Thursday, Sept. 13, includes four programs:

  • Provide 125 free tickets and a $4 voucher for a beverage and snack for two dates at the Assembly theatre: $4,750.
  • Forever Fit exercise program for seniors, two classes per week for 52 weeks, for 15 seniors: $4,680.
  • Sunshine Club, providing a small birthday present for each senior during the year at a cost of $50 per month: $600.
  • Senior bus services for town events from Stillwater Heights, Ashton Court and Bradford Court: $1,057.

The town has already been notified that all of the proposed projects would qualify for the grant funding and must now submit an online form detailing work plans for the grant to be disbursed and implemented.