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New senior center has funding as earmarked

By Erin O'Connor

Staff Writer

AGAWAM A resolution accepting a $100,000 Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development Fiscal Year 2007 Legislative Earmark for appropriating funds to retain architectural services for the new Senior Center was approved by the City Council.

"I can almost say it is 100% guaranteed," Joan Linnehan, director of the Agawam Senior Center, said about the funding. Linnehan said that a final answer is based on the approval of plans that were to be submitted by June 30, 2007 to the department of housing and community development.

"We sent it [the plans] in Sept. 20 we are already in phase II of building and we are running in this direction," Linnehan said.

Linnehan offered gratitude to Agawam State Senator Stephen Buoniconti and Parks and Recreations Director Christopher Sparks in helping to get approvals.

The funding from this Earmark will go towards architectural services for the planning, design and preparation of drawings and documents for the bid specifications and permitting.

If final approval is granted the $100,000.00 will go towards the total cost of $300,000.00 for Architectural designs. The City hopes to raise the remaining $200,000.00 through the help of various sources.

"When all funding is in order then we will approach the private sector," Linnehan said.

The Friends of the Agawam Senior Center are working to raise separate funding that would go towards the furnishing of the new Center that would be located on Main Street where the fund raising sign is located Linnehan said. Linnehan although not certain is hoping that construction for the Center could be started and completed in three to five years.

"It is a huge project that the community will truly benefit from," she said.