Committee Members Seek Information Seniors Needs

John Goglia, Susan Haussler and Doug Thomas are taking their show on the road, with a goal of having more people joining the show.

The three members of the Londonderry Senior Resources Committee are a task force reaching out to the town’s 10 over-55 communities. As of the Feb. 21 Senior Resources meeting, they had reached out to six of these. Goglia reported on their findings.

The trio has visited, individually, in pairs or in groups, Hickory Woods, The Nevins, Sugarplum Hill, The Grand Estate at Londonderry. Buttrick Village and Forest Hills, meeting with everyone from a single board chair to 30 community members.

They asked fellow seniors what they wanted, and received several duplicate responses. Seniors in these communities are concerned about lower property taxes, more information on activities and resources, and better transportation.

“There are some things we can do for them, some things we cannot,” Goglia observed.

Residents at Hickory Woods are concerned about senior transportation, Goglia said. They would also like to see lower property taxes, he said, noting that many of them pay $7,000 to $9,000 in taxes. “They have no kids in school, their use of services is minimal,” he told the committee.

The residents are also concerned about not having streetlights at the exits at West Road and Route 102, he said. The town has not been amenable to requests, and Joe Green, the Council liaison to the committee, is going to look into it, Goglia said.

At the Nevins, representatives of the residents said they would like to see lower senior property taxes. They would like to see the town coordinate events for seniors, other than those at the Senior Center, and they also expressed a desire for a newsletter on town senior activities.

Senior Center Kathy Blash, who is a member of the committee, observed that she does have a newsletter. Town Clerk and member Sherry Farrell said the town quarterly newsletter also carries senior events and issues affecting them.

Residents of Sugarplum asked for a piano and workout room at the Senior Center. But Blash said even with the recent remodeling, “I have no room.”

About a dozen people from Sugarplum e-mailed complaints about the “no left turn” sign at the end of the development, saying it necessitates them going down to a nearby office complex and turning around. They asked that the sign be removed, or that it be qualified, “no left turn from 4 to 6 p.m.”   Farrell suggested the issue be brought before the Safety Committee, which is next meeting in April.

Grand Estate residents expressed concern about transportation and affordable housing. Their units go for $1,700 to $1,800 a month, Goglia said, adding, “Maybe they want more options.”

Buttrick Village residents asked for a sidewalk going from their complex to the Shaw’s plaza, and also for better speed limit enforcement on Winding Pond Road.

At Forest Hills, residents expressed concern about senior transportation. “All but one of the residents drives, and the others take care of her needs,” Goglia said. But with those residents aging, he wrote in his report, “Transportation is not an issue now, but it will be shortly.”

“We told them about Article 21,” he said, referring to the Senior Transportation warrant item to be voted on in March.

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