To the Editor:
I am writing in support of the Hudson Senior Center renovation and expansion project. The Town of Hudson ballot question at the February 5th local election (held in conjunction with the Presidential Primary), asks residents to vote on a $4.4 million dollar debt exclusion. I urge you to vote in favor of this ballot question to give the seniors a safe, clean, accessible facility that will continue to meet the ever-growing needs of this population.
For those of you who have not been in the current Senior Center building, you should take a look. It is in poor condition for housing vital programs for our seniors. This old Victorian house was purchased over 40 years ago, by the Friends of the Senior Center, a fact that still to this day, gives them a great sense of pride. Unfortunately, over the years, with only minor cosmetic improvements, the building is in dire need of updating. Restrooms do not meet standards for accessibility, the kitchen does not meet code, electrical and plumbing concerns drastically need addressing and the size of the building is just plain inadequate to house the number of seniors now utilizing this public facility.
I am sure many of you are thinking we cannot afford this!!! Please remember, today's seniors are the taxpayers of yesterday. They paid for moving the Police Station to the old Packard Street School, Forest Avenue and Mulready Elementary Schools, the old HHS and the new 40 million dollar high school, Farley's renovation and addition, and most recently the Fire Station and expansion of the Wastewater Treatment Facility. The average home owner's tax increase will be about $60 per year, or $15 quarterly, at its peak.
It is a known fact that as we grow older, social interaction and activity significantly contribute to a longer and healthier life. The seniors deserve a center that is not deteriorated, where the social worker can meet with clients privately, where lunches served are not limited due to a lack of space and a kitchen that doesn't actually function as such, where physical and social activities can be conducted without having to travel by bus to use outside facilities. Many seniors do not have family nearby and this facility fills that void in their lives.
On a personal note, my mom got great pleasure from attending activities such as bingo, cards, line dancing and various trips. In her later years, some of her best friends were people she met in classes and activities held at the senior center. For me that was the best thing that could have happened to her. I have also found it necessary to visit with the social services individuals at the center to seek advice on services for my parents, and they were very helpful, but it was necessary to displace someone from their office to actually talk privately. Before my mom passed away she requested that in lieu of flowers donations be sent to the Senior Center to continue the great work they do. That was very comforting and for me, it is a very personal act to vote in favor of this project.
Our seniors completely deserve our vote for the renovation and addition to this building. Please make every eff ort to get out on Election Day to vote in favor of revitalizing and adding to a community building that will serve this population now and into the future. It is our turn to say thanks to them for all they have done to make this town what it is today!!!! Linda M. Ghiloni Director of Recreation Hudson