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No plan to shut down program for seniors, board tells residents

The Pomfret Town Board assured 30 residents attending the Wednesday night meeting that there is no plan to shut down the town's senior citizen program.

Officials also said plans are to remain in the current site, St. Anthony School on Moore Avenue, if possible.

The contract with St. Anthony Catholic Church to rent the school building ends Aug. 31, and the board plans to negotiate with the church to renew the contract, officials said.

However, the board hopes to rent less space to reduce the annual $23,500 rental cost incurred by the town. Supervisor Don Steger said the Town Board is looking at all budget areas in an attempt to reduce 2012 expenses.

Paul Taddio, a representative of the St. Anthony Church Council, asked why the board budgets more than $80,000 for weed control but wants to reduce the budget line for the senior program. However, during a discussion, officials realized Taddio was referring not to weed control, but the town's road-maintenance costs totaling $50,000.

Councilman Rod Pennica remarked that too much misinformation is being spread around.

Asked if the town might approach the Fredonia Village Board about sharing the costs of the senior program, officials noted the program already is paid from the townwide budget, which includes funds from the town taxpayers in Fredonia, which is located within the town.

Councilman Charles Civiletto said the board is looking at alternative sites to house the senior program, just in case contract negotiations with the church break down.

The town, he said, would never leave the senior program high and dry without an alternative site for activities. Councilwoman Pat Christina added that the board is very pleased with the program and its director.