COMMISSION ON AGING MEETING
JUNE 9, 2021
Redding Community Center
PRESENT: Jean Rexford, Sarah Cummings, Hilda Rhodes, Sarah Atwood, Mary Dale Lancaster, (chair), Ingrid Heller, Dr. George Cohen, Garner Lester, Kathy Brandt
STAFF: Angelica Fontanez, Margherita Pillato
MEMBERS OF PUBLIC: Douglas Renfield-MIller, Ruth Moran
FIRST SELECTPERSON: Julia Pemberton
9:02 am meeting commenced
1. MAY MINUTES APPROVED: Jean Rexford, Ingrid Heller
2. PUBLIC COMMENT: None
3. DIRECTOR OF SOCIAL SERVICE’S REPORT – Angelica Fontanez
(see printed budget for details)
Busy with walk-in cases, and police calls for cognitively impaired seniors. Had to get elderly protective services.
Discussion ensued regarding elderly dementia problems.
Grant for van came in.
4. SENIOR ACTIVITY PROGRAM COORDINATOR’S REPORT – Margherita Pilato
$11,000 left in budget
Looking into cruise at Maritime Center for an event.
Programs continuing with varying levels of participation, see report
Pizza event was very popular.
Zumba has started, more rigorous exercise for those able.
Art started up, slowly. Outdoor programs went very well. Coffee, eye talk, were well received programs.
Tent was clumsy but do-able. Hopefully we will soon have a solution with the “sail” project.
Discussion regarding a mirror and bar in gym for barre.
Tag Sale on the 18th. Come and shop. 10 to 3.
5. FIRST SELECTPERSON (Julia Pemberton):
In the library, we can get rid of furniture. We need a subcommittee to go through the room with staff and figure out what to keep and get rid of. Can go to donations or transfer station. Or sell at tag sale. Discussion regarding logistics of redoing interior space was had. Julia is in favor of getting rid of old computers get Mac Laptops on carts. Need to determine how much it costs (who, when?) Wants someone professional to come in to look at space to determine. We can reach out to people who know those people (who will reach out? When?)
Need to find someone who specializes in interior design.
Open slate as to what changes might be made, including wall removal. Opportunity to think big.
Once space is analyzed, then experts in doing the work, load bearing walls etc. (architects, e.g.)
Prioritizing private entrance for Angelica’s clients.
The town is who will do these things, Sean Donnelly (Chief building official and director of facilities) should be involved.
We should get a timeline for that. Purchasing policy of town, need to get bids for anything over $1K. Very formal process. The earliest we could get funding, if very aggressive, next May. Probably would not get done till 2d year.
Re: laptops: American Rescue Funds. In order to access these funds, expenditures must be tied to COVID. HVAC in this building should be addressed. This could be a way to use funds. Redding is getting 2.5 million, allegedly, in two parts. Has to be spent by end of 2024. It will be audited. Likely will hire a consultant to advise on use of funds. Schools has already recently upgraded, and they get their own funding.
Discussion ensued. COVID affected elderly disproportionately in some ways, i.e. greatest health risk. Need to have people write to Julia about what Senior needs can be addressed. Isolation, fear of death from COVID. Need to keep seniors active and emotionally connected.
Still no directions on how federal COVID money will be appropriated, mechanism for spending.
Sun sail: making best use of outdoor spaces. Julia to ask Sean and then someone in the building trade. Build something that will last.
Website: reorganized website, park and rec is in hierarchy. Search engine optimization. Discussion ensues. There is ongoing work. Our developer who is on a retainer for monthly maintenance who has been instructed to work on this. Right now still unsettled, but Heritage Senior Center is listed alphabetically.
Senior FB page? Marguerita would like one, but cannot manage the page with her time limitations.
Discussion of ways to promote communications ensued.
Building maintenance: what is the best way to make a request and how to make sure it followed? Staff calls Sean directly now, which is problematic. Julia will discuss with Sean.
Looking for streamlining.
Requested up to date computer and software for Tina Armato, staff member who puts together BLAST and other promotional materials. Tina presently uses her updated home computer.
6. CHAIRPERSON’S REPORT – Mary Dale Lancaster: 4 commissioners whose terms expire renew from 2021 to 2023. Karen deFriesse has resigned.
Money raising concerns: Grant Writing. 501 c3 should be set up initially, mission to aid seniors, INDEPENDENT OF COA. Not hard to set up, but running it and having bylaws, board, etc. is on ongoing project. Contact discussion group. Doug has experience in . Need to consult an independent attorney. Discussion ensued about crossing all the t’s and dotting all the “i”s. Jean & Kathy will work on specifics.
Phone calls to commissioners had common themes, briefly: support social services staff, communication, place to meet, improve facilities. Need comfy place to “hang out.” Further discussion will be held on this at the next meeting, due to time constraints.
7. OLD BUSINESS: NONE
8. NEW BUSINESS: NONE
NEXT MEETING: JULY 14, 2021, 9 AM AT THE HERITAGE CENTER (Bastille Day). No meeting in August.
Meeting adjourned 10:20 a.m.
Submitted by: Kathy Brandt