Chatham Officials Continue to Field Proposals for New Senior Center Site


CHATHAM – After a proposal to utilize a parcel of land on Middle Road was rejected by town meeting voters last month, officials in Chatham are still on the hunt for the best possible location for a new senior center.

Selectmen outlined a plan on Monday to find a new property to locate the new senior center, regardless if it’s smaller in size than the Middle Road location.

“Going with a slightly smaller number, again maybe there will be some different interests, different timing, or different properties available potentially,” Principal Projects and Operations Administrator Terry Whalen.

A renewed request for proposals (RFP) was also issued by selectmen, seeking owners of private property that may be interested in either selling or leasing their land to the town.

Town officials had originally been seeking properties no smaller than 84,000 square feet. As the search carries on, that number has decreased to 58,000 square feet. Selectmen had considered privately owned property in the initial stages of the search, later opening up to town owned land.

“Back in November 2016, we did start the site selection process by reviewing basically every town owned property above a certain size for its ability to locate a Council on Aging facility. We’re proposing to revisit that again as part of this process,” said Whelan.

Selectman Dean Nicastro says town staff should generate their own list of potential sites to present to the board. Nicastro also says he would not include the VFW on a list of potential locations based on the recent town meeting approval to renew a 50-year lease on it.

The town will be fielding suggestions at a scheduled a public meeting in July.

“In the staff report it did note that as we’re moving forward after going through the working group process, it looks like we can do the screening by changing the minimum site requirements. We haven’t done that work yet, but we will do that and have it ready for a public presentation,” Whelan said.

By TIM DUNN, News Center 

About Tim Dunn

Tim Dunn is a native of south coast Massachusetts, growing up in the small town of Mattapoisett and now resides in New Bedford. He’s worked in the News Center covering everything you need to know about on the Cape.
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