WHITE RIVER JUCTION, Vt., August 13 – Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) this week announced federal funding he helped secure for seniors centers in towns across Orange and Windsor counties.
As part of a $487,000 appropriation the senator secured for Vermont senior centers, projects are in the works to improve facilities and services for seniors in Randolph, Rochester, Royalton, South Strafford, Chelsea, Bradford, White River Junction, Springfield and the town of Windsor.
“I am a strong supporter of Vermont senior centers,” Sanders said. “These centers, and the thousands of volunteers who work with them, do an extraordinary job in bringing seniors together - making sure they get good nutrition, health care and social activities. In these very difficult economic times, I’m proud to be working with them.”
While visiting seniors at the Randolph Senior Center on Thursday, the senator announced $18,675 for the center to repair the porch roof and build a covered walkway; $18,675 in federal funds for Pierce Hall Community Center in Rochester to purchase a boiler to allow the hall – which is expected to include a senior center within a few years – to be used in the winter; $2,400 for the Royalton Senior Center and South Strafford Mealsite to purchase kitchen equipment; $1,600 for kitchen equipment at the Chelsea Senior Center, and $4,670 for Orange East Senior Center in Bradford to purchase a new 6-burner stove. He also announced $12,900 for the Kimball Public Library in Randolph.
Earlier today, Sanders met with seniors at the Bugbee Senior Center in White River Junction. He announced a total of $55,722 in federal funds to help the center improve lighting, add insulation, fix ceiling tiles in the dining area, replace kitchen and dining equipment, improve phone and computer equipment, purchase reception area furnishing, re-carpet and re-floor high-traffic areas, and provide an on-site defibrillator for emergency use. These were funded by a $37,047 appropriation last year and $18,675 this year.
Sanders also announced a total of $57,432 in federal funding for the Springfield Senior Center. The center plans to use the funding to install more energy efficient windows, replace doors, and paint the facility. Also receiving $18,675 in federal support was the Stoughton House in the town of Windsor which provided over 20,000 meals to seniors last year through both on-site and meals-on-wheels services. The facility will use the funding to upgrade its dining area, replace flooring and purchase a steamer in order to produce healthier food.
Over the last five years, Sanders has brought into Vermont more than $1.2 million for senior citizens. This year, the senator secured $487,000 through the Department of Housing and Urban Development appropriation bill for 34 centers across the state. These grants are administered by the Vermont Association of Area Agencies on Aging.