At its meeting Monday night, Wilton’s Board of Selectmen heard a preliminary proposal on creating a discount program that would provide money-saving opportunities for seniors in Wilton over the age of 65.
At the meeting, Sarah Gioffre, who works in the first selectwoman’s office, presented the BOS with information about programs that would “offer senior residents of a certain age and older–it could be 65 and older–discounts at participating town businesses.” The program is intended to benefit both local seniors and local merchants, Gioffre said, “helping them continue to thrive.”
She added that many Wilton seniors have asked if it could be developed here.
Gioffre found comparable senior discount programs in nearby Fairfield County towns, including Ridgefield and Fairfield. She and Wilton Social Services director Sarah Heath were impressed with the Fairfield program, administered by that town’s senior center. Not only do local businesses participate but some town services also offer discounts to seniors as well, including Fairfield Parks & Recreation and the town’s Continuing Education program.
“The idea would be, like Fairfield did, to partner with the Economic Development Commission as well as potentially the Wilton Chamber of Commerce, to develop the program, and invite Wilton businesses and organizations to participate,” she explained, noting that participants could range from leisure programs–the Wilton Playshop and Wilton High School football game admission–to town services, including discounted transfer station tickets (which are already offered at a discount to seniors).
Vanderslice noted that any possible commitment on the town side would involve some financial consideration. She pointed to a potential change in the current, one-dollar discount offered to seniors on transfer station tickets, which now reduces the price from $4.50 to $3.50 per ticket, and lowering the cost even further.
“There is a financial element to the town, Sarah will lead on it, which requires a few additional hours on it, and it may be less revenue, in that we collect a little less money either in Parks & Rec or the transfer station. I don’t think it’s going to be a huge amount of money,” she says.
Selectwoman Deb McFadden said that she and her husband have attended high school football games in many other Fairfield County towns, several of which offer a discount to senior ticket buyers. “Wilton did not, that’s an observation we made over the last years. I think it’s a great program.”
Vanderslice also noted that some people don’t like the word ‘senior’ so she suggested exploring other terms.
While their was no formal vote or need for approval, the BOS members were in agreement that Gioffre should further pursue developing such a discount program.