March 27 2018

Selectmen Approve Use of Disability Access Funds for Variety of Projects

By: Rich Hosford

The Burlington Board of Selectmen approved a number of expenses totaling $8,570 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 use of the funds is decided by DAC but must be approved by the Board of Selectmen.  

The first was $2,400 for a therapeutic horseback program for people with mobility issues. The riding session, which are offered in conjunction with the Burlington Parks & Recreation Department, provides a way for people with limited mobility to enjoy time riding a horse. It also helps people relax, develop muscle tone, coordination and confidence.


There was also $200 for a Light it up Blue event for autism awareness, $600 for a “Sensory Sundays” program for children with sensory issues, $500 for the Family Connection program and $1,300 for the therapeutic Recreation Department programs at Simonds Park.


Finally, DAC requested that $3,570 be used to make the playground at Wildwood Park handicap accessible at its three entrances. Currently there is a step that prevents access to the playground.


Members of the board said they were happy to approve the use of the funds and that they thought it was appropriate that money raised by ticketing violators of handicap parking spaces be used to make the town more accessible for those who need it. They also lauded Mazzocca and all the people at DAC for their hard work on these projects.


“I want to thank Maura for doing the work,” Selectman Joe Morandi said. “I commend you for what you do.”


Chairman Chris Hartling also noted the increased cooperation between DAC and the Parks & Recreation Department.


“The program has expanded with the Recreation Department and that is great to see,” he said.


Mazzocca said she too was happy with the new recreation programs.


“Recreation has expanded their programs for children with disabilities and that’s great for both the children and their families,” she said. “The families can connect with other families and the kids can connect with other kids. I commend them for their hard work.”


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