Revised COA Plan May Get Second Chance with Chatham Voters


CHATHAM – A revised plan to construct a new senior center in Chatham will be decided on by voters this summer.

Chatham voters rejected the original plan last week, with the new plan to likely involve a different parcel of land in the town.

Selectman Dean Nicastro says he believes the only reason the first proposal was defeated was because of the location.

“I think all the argument about cost and size and utilization were thrown in. I think we might’ve heard something about those things, but I think it was the location that killed it,” Nicastro said.

Selectmen considered several parcels of privately owned land before deciding to build the new senior center on town owned property. A total of four parcels of town owned property were reviewed by the board following visits to several private sites. Selectmen had been searching for a convenient location with adequate parking.

Selectman Peter Cocolis notes that delaying the project by a year would most likely result in “significant cost increases.” He says voter concerns need to be answered when the proposal comes before the town again.

“If we don’t get something this year it’s going to be a million dollars more next year,” said Cocolis.

“The whole issue with the COA is referenced in the media. Yeah, it’s location, but it’s more than location. It’s also understanding what the COA does and understanding how the COA costs were determined. Obviously, location is primary.”

Council on Aging (COA) board Vice Chairman Barbara Segali says that some town meeting voters don’t have a clear understanding of what the senior center offers.

BY TIM DUNN, News Center

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