May 24 2016

Selectmen Approve Use of Funds for Disability Access Commission

By: Rich Hosford

The Burlington Board of Selectmen approved three expenses from the Handicapped Parking Fine Funds on behalf of the Disability Access Commission (DAC) during the meeting Monday night. 


DAC co-chair Maura Mazzocca was at the meeting to request the use of funds. The money for the fund is provided by tickets and fines given to people who illegally park in handicap spots.  


The first item was $150 to compensate Eagle Scout candidate Matt Jankowski for out-of-pocket expenses for his final project. As reported on BNEWS, Jankowski made portable handicap parking spots by painting and putting signage on sawhorses. The moveable spots can be used by anyone in town holding an event and will be used by the town to add handicap spots to places like the Town Common and Varsity Field during big events. 


“He thought he could get all materials donated but only got half and paid $150 from his own pocket,” Mazzocca said. “Once we heard that, we wanted to reimburse him those funds.”


The second item was $500 to build raised garden beds in the Community Garden at Francis Wyman Elementary School. Mazzocca said that currently all the beds are at ground level so when a student in a wheelchair wants to do planting or garden work a teacher must hold them. With the raised beds the students will be able to maneuver around the beds on their own. 


The final expenditure was $30,000 to supplement the salary of the new position of Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist at the Recreation Department. 


Town Administrator John Petrin said the majority of the salary is being paid for out of the town budget but the plan includes using some funds from the handicap parking fine account for three years (decreasing each year). 


“We just needed a buffer to write this position in so we could stay within guidelines for the current budget,” he said. 


The board approved all the expenditures with a 4-0-0 vote, with Selectmen Bob Hogan not in attendance. 

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