Town may have buyer for Main Street lot

SHIRLEY — After the town acquired a small parcel of land on Main Street several years ago, the building on the land, which was once a bar, was torn down.

The land was originally eyed as the site of the new police station, but plans changed. The lot, between The Great Wall restaurant and Dunkin’ Donuts, has stood empty ever since.

Now a local grocery store owner has expressed interest in buying it, said Selectman Enrico Cappucci. He reported the possibility at the Oct. 15 Board of Selectmen meeting.

With town sewer in place, he said the land, now an unpaved parking lot that’s rarely used, might be used for something.

For a sale to take place, the town-owned parcel must first be declared surplus land. An appraisal must also be sought to set a price.

The selectmen agreed to authorize the town administrator to draft an article for the Nov. 13 Special Town Meeting warrant and use MCI funds to pay an appraiser. The money will be reimbursed when the land is sold. — M.E. Jones

Seniors want a center, need a COA director

SHIRLEY — Since the Council on Aging (COA) needs to have a director in place to qualify for certain grant funding, a request to hire a director has been brought before the Board of Selectmen.

The post is important because COA members have said they want to offer more programs in the long run and establish a permanent location for a senior center in town.

“COA members seem to want it,” said selectmen Chairman Leonardo “Chip” Guercio. He pointed out that there are at least 800 seniors — residents aged 60 and older — in town, per the last census.

To provide an overview of what’s involved, he said Groton’s full-time COA director, Martha Campbell, recently spoke to the Shirley group. A ballpark salary figure for a full-time director is in the $35,000 to $55,000 range, he said.

The fact that town seniors visit centers in other towns underscores the need for a center here, said Guercio.

“The idea has been on the back burner for some time,” he said.

But it got bumped when other projects were in the pipeline, he said, such as a new school and town sewer.

Now those projects are complete, and the COA is looking at a five-year plan to seek town-wide support for a senior center. Guercio said more details may be out by this summer.

The board, slotted for nine members, currently only has four, plus a part-time coordinator. — M.E. Jones

Selectmen OK loan from MCI fund to Longley Acres

SHIRLEY — The Board of Selectmen, at its Oct. 15 meeting, agreed to borrow $10,000 from MCI prison mitigation funds to pay capital expenses at Longley Acres farm.

Special “home-rule” legislation is being sought to allow the farm to establish a revolving account to cover its operation. When that goes through, town administrator Kyle Keady said the money will be repaid. — M.E. Jones