State Senator Toni Boucher released the following statement today re: Groundbreaking ceremony for Wilton Commons, Senior Congregate Housing Project

April 11, 2012

“Aristotle has been quoted as saying that you can judge a nation by the way it treats its most vulnerable citizens. There is one person who takes this to heart and new heights-George Ciaccio. He was the person who proposed, organized and advocated for the Wilton Commons affordable congregate housing for our area’s frail and vulnerable elderly.

“For over a decade and from the onset, George and his small band of committed Wiltonians advocated and cajoled not only me personally but also our townspeople, selectmen, churches, commissioners, multiple Governors and agencies to make this remarkable project a reality.

“This was George’s message that he repeated to anyone who would listen:

  • Wilton Commons will be an affordable congregate living community for seniors.
  • It will serve those who find it difficult to live independently (74 units).
  • It will offer one meal each day and will provide light housekeeping.
  • The Town of Wilton has agreed to lease us 4.8 acres of land ideally located near shopping and a railroad station (market value $2.2 to 2.5 million).
  • We have a six year option to lease this land for 85 years for one dollar a year (option is up next year).
  • The cost of the project is $15.5 million.
  • We have secured nearly $2 million in donations and pledges.
  • The project is shovel ready with all zoning approvals.
  • Wilton Commons will keep some people from going to a nursing home prematurely; thus reducing the cost of Medicaid.
  • The project will bring Wilton nearer to the State’s recommended 10% low income housing and could be a catalyst for other towns to follow.
  • It will provide in excess of 100 jobs during the construction period and approximately 10-15 permanently.
  • We have over 100 people on the waiting list. We cannot let these people down.
  • I know of no project more worthy for federal funding.
  • The State Fiscal Stabilization Fund provides the catalyst to continue this vital service during this historic time when servicing the elderly residents of Connecticut is needed more than ever.

“We thank George and his wonderful group of concerned citizens who recognized a need for an affordable assisted living option for the seniors we cherish and did something about it!

“I am truly proud to represent a truly caring compassionate community, not only for our young people but also for our frail elderly. Congratulations to the State of Connecticut for its support.

“And finally, a good deal of credit must also go to the young families of Wilton who, time after time, approved multiple referendums. The votes taken by the community were truly nonpartisan. They allowed the town to extend the timelines needed for the project when the wheels of government slowed because of the recession.

“The approvals and financial contributions from our young families are sterling examples of the belief that ‘Our society must make it right and possible for old people not to fear the young or be deserted by them.’ (Pearl S. Buck)”