Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

News

April 4, 2013

Town seeks to empty trust for youth center, seniors

Fund could be emptied for youth center, seniors

Town officials are hoping to empty a town trust to expand senior programming and build part of the Cormier Family Youth Center.

A Special Town Meeting will likely be called within the confines of Annual Town Meeting in May in an effort to spend the $1.29 million held by the William M. Wood Memorial Trust. The trust was created by the Andover family of Wood, who built the American Woolen empire and created Shawsheen Village in the early 20th century.

The Council on Aging and Andover Youth Center Building Committee are proposing that the money be split. Half, or $649,000, would slated for a stabilization fund for senior citizen programs, and the remaining $649,000 would go towards the second phase of the youth-center construction, officials from both committees said Monday.

“What I think we’re presenting to you today is something that I think a lot of people have really been asking for over the years, and that’s an opportunity,” said Don Robb, Council on Aging chairman.

The stabilization fund would generate around $9,000 in interest annually, which would “help provide funding for expanded senior programs and services,” Robb said.

Town Manager Buzz Stapczynski provided further details on the fund, saying the town has “an intent of what we want to do. We don’t want to use it for wages, utilities, operating expenses. It’s supposed to be for extraordinary [senior] services and programs.”

Andover Youth Center Building Committee Chairman Chris Huntress said the other $649,000 going toward the youth center would put a notable dent in the $1.35 million needed to finish the second phase of the project.

The project is being split into two phases. The first phase builds most of the building, with $2.2 million raised by the private Andover Youth Foundation and another $2 million provided by Andover voters at 2011. The as-yet unfunded second phase would add a multipurpose room, extra office space and an additional set of bathrooms.

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