At their Tuesday meeting, Selectmen heard from Director of Elderly Services Terri Marciello concerning the status of fuel assistance programs for the upcoming winter season.
Marciello said the federal government shutdown is causing a delay for Community Teamwork Inc. the, private, non-profit community action agency and regional non-profit housing agency that provides fuel assistance programs for Wilmington residents.
According to Marciello, if the government shutdown isn't resolved by the end of the month, the Community Teamwork office could be closed.
"We're hoping it would just be more of a delay," Marciello said. "With the government shutdown, if things don't work out by end of month, they can't promise their office will be open."
In the first half of October, approximately 25 residents have submitted renewals for the program, with about 15 submitted in September, according to Marciello.
New applications for residents over the age of 60 are available at the Senior Center, and require proof of income, property tax, proof of oil or gas company, a checking account statement and a tax statement from the previous year.
Eligibility for the Energy Assistance Program is as follows:
- One person household- $32,065
- Two person household- $41,932
- Three person household- $51,798
- Four person household- $61,664
Selectman Lou Cimaglia commended Marciello for the work done by the Department of Elderly Services.
"The services you provide through your office are immense, and not just the fuel benefits," Cimaglia said. "There are a lot of people that are really in need right now."
Selectman Michael Newhouse reminded residents not to hesitate to reach out to town officials if they believe a neighbor or other acquaintance is in need of assistance, but might not ask for it themselves.
"If you see somebody you think is in need don't hesitate to call Town Hall or the Senior Center," Newhouse said. "You can do all the outreach in the world but it's not going to be as helpful as a neighbor looking out for you."
Selectman Michael Champoux said he hoped the government shutdown would be resolved before the end of the month so Wilmington residents wouldn't have to feel its effects in this way.
"We're seeing the federal government shutdown rear it's ugly head right here in Wilmington," Champoux said. "Hopefully we see some results soon."
Selectmen were wearing pink at Tuesday's meeting in honor of breast cancer awareness month.