The citizens of Ellington will soon have a chance to have another say in the fate of the proposed Senior Center.
On Monday, March 25, a special town meeting will be held in the gymnasium at Center School to discuss the addition of $400,000 to the budget for the project. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m.
The following Tuesday, April 2, a referendum on the appropriation will take place from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m. in the gymnasium at Ellington High School. Absentee ballots will be available from the town clerk.
In February 2012, voters went to the polls and approved the $2.5 million project by a vote of 1,340-573. The new 10,600-square foot center was designed to have several activity rooms – an upgrade from the three rooms the current center has, a coffee bar, a kitchen, a patio, and a gazebo. On the drawing, there are low walls and lots of glass – taking advantage of natural light and open space.
The Senior Center Steering Committee set out to get a new center for the town because they didn’t feel the current center adequately serves the needs of the town’s seniors (residents over age 60) – or prepares for future growth in the number of seniors.
However, when the bids started coming in, they were significantly higher. After the bids came in, the Permanent Building Committee began working with the involved parties to try to get the costs down.
The committee then recommended that an additional appropriation of $500,000 be made for the project. The Board of Selectmen approved this, and sent it to the Board of Finance. The Board of Finance however, decided that an appropriation of $400,000 would be better. The Board of Selectmen then went back and approved this new number and set the special town meeting and referendum dates.