Special requests top $240,000 in Springfield
By Susan Smallheer
Staff Writer | February 01,2013
SPRINGFIELD — Special requests from more than a dozen social service agencies and community organizations, as well as two economic development groups, will be decided by voters on Town Meeting Day.
The requests total $240,000, said Springfield town comptroller Jeffrey Mobus.
In addition to the special requests, voters will decide whether to give each member of the Select Board $500 a year, an amount that dates back to the 1960s.
One of the new agencies seeking funding is the Springfield Supportive Housing Program, which has been working in Springfield for seven years, said Richard McInerney, executive director of the program.
McInerney said his organization provides housing for the homeless and people “who are on the verge of homelessness.”
He said his organization works with a $400,000 annual budget, most of which comes from state agencies. He said the group places people in about 12 apartments in Springfield, and last year helped about 75 people in Springfield.
“The majority of the people we help are from Springfield,” he said.
He said he wanted to get the program well established before asking for town funding. He said his organization helps people “from Bellows Falls to Windsor,” and has people working in Bellows Falls full time. He said he expected he would seek town funding from Rockingham and Windsor next year.
McInerney, who is the former director of Morningside Shelter in Brattleboro, said the group started its existence under the umbrella of the Springfield Family Center, but is now a standalone organization.
“We’re located right next to the Methodist Church,” he said.
Appearing on the town warning for the first time is the Springfield Regional Development Corp., which is seeking $30,000 in town funding. The regional development corporation has been funded by the town for about 20 years, but until this year, its allocation has been placed directly in the budget.
A little-known aspect of the town charter prompted the Springfield Select Board, on a 3-2 vote, to move the group’s funding request out of the budget and onto the warning, as a separate article.
Likewise, funding for Springfield On The Move, the local downtown redevelopment organization, is seeking $20,000, the same amount it received last year from voters.
Another social service agency seeking funding is the Visiting Nurse Association and Hospice of Vermont and New Hampshire, which has asked for $63,500, the largest single amount of all the agencies.
The Springfield Family Center has asked for $50,000 in funding to support its programs of offering a free daily meal, food shelf and other services in the community.
Connecticut River Transit Inc., is seeking $12,500 toward transit services it provides in the town of Springfield.
Also asking for funding is Turning Point Recovery Center, which is seeking $10,000 to help men and women from Springfield who are recovering from alcohol and substance abuse.
Mental Health Services of Southeastern Vermont is also seeking $10,000. It also works with people with substance abuse and mental health issues.
Southeastern Vermont Community Action has asked for $9,000 to help individuals and families in need.
Senior Solutions, formerly the Council on Aging for Southeastern Vermont, is seeking $8,500 to help support seniors and their families who are trying to remain at home.
The Meals on Wheels program is seeking $8,000 to help support the cost of providing a daily hot meal and cold home-delivered meals to qualified residents of Springfield.
Valley Health Connections, formerly the Precision Valley Free Clinic, is asking for $4,000 to help the uninsured access health care.
Green Mountain RSVP & Volunteer Center of Windsor County has asked for $3,300 to support its programs to develop opportunities for people age 55 and older.
Windsor County Partners is seeking $3,000 to support its youth mentoring program in Springfield schools and in Windsor County.
The Springfield Community Band is seeking $2,000 to support a series of eight concerts it offers in the summer.