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Westport 4/4/09

The committees that came out of the Future for Westport meeting back in December have been meeting over the past couple of months. Here's a brief update on their activities. You can find out more at their Web site, www.westportnylibrary.org/futureforwestport.

First off, the Tax Committee will sponsor a meeting on property tax assessments Wednesday, April 8 at the Town Hall at 5 p.m. Westport assessor David Galarneau will discuss the assessment process and answer questions. His discussion will include the tax cycle, exemptions, the state's role, and full value assessments. This is a public, informational meeting, so residents with individual grievances should set up separate meetings with the assessor.

The Heritage House committee has met a couple of times and has made setting up a Visitor's Center before the summer their top priority. They hope to put together a booklet with information on the facilities available in town, including restaurants, shopping, and other services. They also plan to gather items and photos of historical interest for display. This is a dynamic group and they're looking for volunteers. If you're interested, the next meeting is Thursday, April 16 at 6:30 p.m. at the Heritage House.

The Housing Committee has met several times, focusing on senior housing. At their most recent meeting on March 20, they heard from two experts on the subject, Rebecca Stearns, executive Director of the Lodge at Otter Creek, and Dan Hassen, who has helped develop a number of assisted living and memory-care facilities, including the Lodge at Otter Creek.

Mr. Hassen described the various types of senior housing, including active adult retirement communities, senior apartments, independent living communities that include central services, assisted living residence, and continuing care and full service retirement communities. He went on to explain various financial models and general cost parameters for a typical mixed care facility and discussed potential financing options.

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