TOWNSEND -- Things at the Senior Center have become a little stressful with no director in place despite employees and volunteers chipping in to help.
"Right now people have really come together," said Ed Snapp, chairman of the screening committee charged with finding a new director for the Council on Aging.
The committee has found a good candidate for the job, he told selectmen Aug. 26, in Kimberly Dee who works in Ayer and is very qualified.
However, the amount of money the town has budgeted for the position is not enough to hire someone with her qualifications, said Snapp. Currently the budget is set at $37,929 for 35 hours a week.
So the screening committee came up with an idea.
"I believe we can do this," he said. "We have found some funding that's already in place."
For the past several years the COA has received a grant of between $7,200 and $11,000 from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs. The grant paid for a volunteer coordinator who has left her position.
Based on a conversation with the EOEA, Deputy Police Chief David Profit, a member of the COA, said there is no problem with using the funds to pay the director this year.
"This is only a Band-Aid though," Profit said. "it is not a guarantee." The COA may not receive the additional state funding in future years.
"Having the grant available is good fallback," said Town Administrator Andy Sheehan. "We may want to look at going to town meeting with a supplemental appropriation.
Profit said he agreed with asking for a supplemental appropriation. "The grant should not be used to fund this position in the future," he said. "It just gets us over that hurdle."
He expects to hear from the Ayer candidate when she returns from vacation. The board tabled the hearing until its meeting on Sept. 9.