Meriden Council votes to form senior center study panel



reporter photo

MERIDEN — The City Council on Monday night voted unanimously to support Mayor Kevin Scarpati’s proposal to establish a committee that would be tasked with making its recommendations regarding the future of the senior center building.

The Senior Center Building Review Ad Hoc Committee would have seven members, including two city councilors, each representing a different political party caucus, two sitting members of the Commission on Aging and Disabilities, and three other Meriden residents.

The resolution establishing the committee tasks the group with reviewing the current and future planned uses of the Max E. Muravnick Senior Center, including considering a new location for the center. The committee has a July 1, 2023 deadline to forward a report to the City Council that summarizes its findings and recommendations. Those recommendations may also include identifying further infrastructure needs for other offices within the city’s Health and Human Services Department. 

The committee’s members would be appointed by Scarpati. 

City Councilor Krystle Blake chairs the Human Services Committee, which earlier this month voted to recommend forwarding the proposal. 

Blake, prior to the council’s vote, explained, “the purpose and the intent is to work with community members and key stakeholders to identify a suitable solution of course for a much more modern senior center than we currently have.”

That may include construction of a new senior center at a site the committee would determine, and a potential recommendation that other Health and Human Services Department offices be relocated as well. 

Officials said a portion of the city’s American Rescue Plan Act funds would be sought for an architectural review to support the committee’s task. 

Council Majority Leader Sonya Jelks said she supports the resolution. “... and I look forward to a complete assessment that will ensure if the senior center is what the community is looking for, that's what we're looking to build or renovate. Or if there are other senior needs that are identified through this committee, I would like the council body to recognize those needs as well,” Jelks said. 

Scarpati, reached after the council meeting, outlined a few tasks that will need to be accomplished before the committee is up and running. Among them will be the submission of applications to the city’s American Rescue Plan Act Steering Committee to obtain an architectural engineering firm, and a potential consultant to assist with the committee with community outreach. 

Simultaneously, Scarpati’s office will determine what interest there is from the public to serve on the limited three at-large community seats. Scarpati said he hopes to have a list of potential candidates for the committee by the first council meeting in November. 

“Hopefully the committee can start meeting in December, to get a better grasp in understanding what the task is, what the needs are of our seniors, and start exploring what we currently need from our senior center facility,” Scarpati said.  

mgagne@record-journal.com203-317-2231Twitter:@MikeGagneRJ



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