The Town Council is holding a Public Hearing on the proposed new Vernon Senior Center on Tuesday, February 21. There seems to have been limited publicity on the event so I've pulled together available information in this post. It's an important issue and everyone should be aware and have an opportunity to participate at the hearing.
The information compiled here is from the February 15 Public Notice, the February 16 Journal Inquirer article, and the February 17 Town of Vernon letter to Senior Center Members. The links will take you to each document.
Vernon Senior Center February 21 Public Hearing
There will be a Public Hearing on Tuesday, February 21, 2017 in the Town Council Chamber, 14 Park Place, Vernon at 8 p.m. to discuss passing an ordinance for the purchase and renovation of the parcel known as 135 Bolton Road for a new SENIOR CENTER.
The Ordinance is to establish a referendum to authorize the bonds for three million, two hundred forty-five thousand dollars ($3,245,000) for the purchase and renovation of the property into a new SENIOR CENTER.
An estimated $1.2 million would go to purchase the property, while over $800,000 would be for building renovation and $700,000 for furniture and equipment. There is also a good possibility of receiving grant money to help offset our costs.
The Town Council voted on February 7, 2017 to schedule this Public Hearing. A Public Notice was printed in the Journal Inquirer on February 15, 2017.
The building and five-acre property is the former Wolff-Zackin insurance building and more recently the home of TicketNetwork before Don Vaccaro moved them to South Windsor in 2011.
This vacant property was considered more than a year ago when the Exploratory Committee of the Senior Center Advisory Board began to visit other Senior Centers in CT and talk about various properties in Vernon. The owner had other plans for the building at that time which is why they settled on the property on Tunnel Road.
Recently the owner contacted the Mayor offering the property for sale. The site was visited by the Exploratory Committee and the Mayor encouraged to proceed. The property has been inspected by employees from the Town (Electrical, Plumbing, IT and others) and found to be in good condition.
There is ample parking and room for outdoor activities. The existing structure is a one-story building with an atrium and working solar panels on two sections of the roof. The weight bearing beams are located on the outside walls meaning that it will be easier to renovate the inside to fit our desired needs. All wiring is in the ceiling making renovation also easier. The property on Tunnel Road is still a buildable piece of property and can be sold or used for recreational purposes.
If you have questions or wish to express your thoughts on the proposed Senior Center plan to attend the Public Hearing.