Sep 08
"SOUTH HADLEY - The disappointment at being turned down in July for state funding to repair the badly deteriorating roof at the Council on Aging Senior Center gave way to euphoria Tuesday as an appeal championed by state Sen. Stanley Rosenberg and state Rep. John Scibak proved successful. The town captured a $406,450 grant from the Community Development Block Grant Fund administered by the Department of Housing and Community Development at a crucial time. The deteriorated condition of the center's roof was causing ongoing damage to the building and threatened continued use of the center. "Great news," said Senior Center Director Joanne Trybus. "We've probably been talking about that roof since I became director 10 years ago. I'm so pleased to know that there's a light at the end of the tunnel." Trybus said the roof has been seriously leaking for four years, with "buckets all over the place." The worst incident came after heavy rains in October 2007. Since then there have been leaks over the Meals on Wheels area, the food service area and in various locations throughout the building at 45 Dayton St. "It's an issue that really came to be a problem 2½ years ago," said Trybus, giving credit to a hardworking custodian for cleaning up quickly and helping keep programs running. 600 people visit the center in a given week, tapping into a variety of programs and services, including fuel and homemaker assistance, blood pressure clinics, writing groups, and all manner of games, crafts, music and exercise. Trybus said the first grant application missed funding by one point; she was informed of the decision on July 7. "I had to really regroup from that news," she said. "The advocacy of Scibak and Rosenberg made plain the urgent need for funding - it's deteriorating the building every time it leaks." "I am very satisfied that my efforts along with Sen. Rosenberg have resulted in the town receiving this necessary funding," Scibak said. "The Council on Aging Senior Center serves a critically important role in the lives of many of my constituents, and helping the center repair this damage has been a top priority for my office." "It is a relief that this issue will soon be addressed before further damage is sustained," Rosenberg said..." View the full article.