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No tax alternative: non profit offers to build senior center in Cohasset

Posted July 11, 2011 09:27 PM

In an unusual effort to address a need during tight times, a private nonprofit organization has volunteered to build a new multimillion-dollar senior center for Cohasset’s burgeoning population of baby boomers, who already make up about 30 percent of the oceanside community.

And because a private group can bypass bidding processes and prevailing-wage limitations required of municipalities, the facility will probably go up more quickly and cost far less money than previously anticipated by the town.

The Social Service League of Cohasset, founded in 1912 to help the needy in the area, had pledged $1 million a year ago toward a town-planned senior center, a project chronically mired in financial difficulty. Officials had been hesitant to propose a tax increase to cash-strapped property owners, and no other money source was in sight.

Although the league’s donation was generous, the town remained millions short of the project’s cost, estimated at $5 million or more. Recently, the nonprofit approached town leaders with a plan to take over the building project. Funds would be raised through a vigorous capital campaign in partnership with the town’s Friends of Elder Affairs. Once the building is complete, it would be leased to the town.

Read the rest of Christine Legere's Globe South story here.

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