Rehoboth town services in jeopardy - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Rehoboth town services in jeopardy

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 Nicole Brazier

REHOBOTH - Last year, the Rehoboth Senior Center saw 13,000 people walk through its doors.

Run by the Council on Aging, the Center is the town's hub for educational classes, food services, and all assistance programs including food stamps, health insurance, and heating assistance for all residents - not just seniors.

"We find people homes, pay for electric bills, try to find finances for people that can't afford their utilities and we have to find it for them in town," said Norellen Palmer, Director of the Council on Aging.

But all of that is in jeopardy now that a $1.6 million budget override was rejected by voters Tuesday.

On the chopping block: public safety, hours at Town Hall, the library, and the Council on Aging - which includes the Senior Center and all its programs.

"We're kind of, the only ones that they see sometimes in the course of a day. So i think that would be almost eliminated wouldn't it?" asked Neal Harrington, a board member on the Council.

Cuts to the Council on Aging could mean staff reduction, fewer hours or closure.

Officials are concerned the people who need help may not be able to get it from nearby communities.

"You could actually come from another town because that town couldn't service you. Because they're overloaded. So we have people coming in from other towns making use of the center here," said Bradley Marshall of the council.

The town's board of selectmen will meet on Monday to begin creating a new budget - which will decide how much and where they'll make the cuts.

Then the residents will vote on that proposal at a special town meeting in August.

(c) WLNE-TV 2014

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