Town Council OKs senior café funds

 

Local senior citizens will soon be able enjoy a nice meal or snack with their wide range of programming.

The Town Council Tuesday approved an expenditure of no more than $15,000 on reopening the Monroe Senior Center’s Wilton Café, which will require several improvements to meet the town health department code.

The project’s funds come from the estate of the late Charles and Lillian Wilton, which provided approximately $1 million to various town organizations. One of those bequests was to the senior center, which named the café in honor of the Wiltons. While there is ample funding for such improvements, the trust requires Town Council approval for any such expenditures.

“We’ve had a lot of discussion on the council about what to do with the leftover kitchen equipment at Chalk Hill School,” said council Chairman Frank Lieto. “Was there any consideration given to using this equipment?”

Barbara Yeager, the director of community and social services, said, “We have a very small kitchen at the center, and the equipment from Chalk Hill was way too big for our space.”

The health department, which closed the café several months ago when it was discovered that it did not meet town code, has required that all cabinets and counters be replaced with stainless steel, and a separate prep sink and a three-bay sink need to be installed.

According to Yeager, the center can keep the commercial stove, refrigerator and freezer that are already in place. She added that the majority of the cabinets and counters that need to be removed can be used elsewhere in the building.

The major cost would be plumbing, which is estimated at nearly $6,400. Yeager said the location of the café inside the building is still to be determined, but ideally it would be located  in the room next to the kitchen. She did state that there is some concern with relocating the activities currently in that room.

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