The proposed home would likely serve 12 abused and/or neglected boys.

LIVERMORE FALLS – A large crowd of concerned citizens was on hand Wednesday night to question the proposed use of the former Parkview Nursing Home as a rehabilitation center for abused/neglected boys.

At the close of their session, planners found the application to be complete but refused to give their final approval until next month, pending a site walk.

A tour of the site had been planned for Tuesday evening but no one was on hand with a key, Planning Board Chairman Guy Palmieri explained.

He scolded the applicant, Armand Madore, for not having it available and sought his assurance that it would be open for them at 5:15 p.m. on Aug. 19.

Planners had toured the exterior of the building and asked that additional fencing be installed around the proposed play area to address safety concerns for the children as the land slopes off sharply in one area.

Many questions were asked during the 80-minute hearing, which was preceded by an election of officers. Guy Palmieri was re-elected as chairman and Veronica Pillsbury as vice-chairwoman.

Town Manager Alan Gove opened the hearing, telling the audience that the board could only act on provisions of the town’s site plan ordinance, not on internal programs and such matters as they are up to the Department of Human Services, which will be responsible for licensing the facility.

Clarified in the questioning were several points:

• The play area will be at the back between the two wings of the building.

• Madore’s business is a for-profit organization.

• He has operated a facility in Woodstock for five years serving 12 eight- to 16-year-olds with no problems.

• Madore plans to have only boys here.

The boys are not felons, but are victims of abuse/neglect, who come into the state system in need of rehabilitation to prepare them for foster home placement or adoption.

Planner Veronica Pillsbury explained that Madore was not trying to open an institution for children, but a place which would be a bridge between the home environment and foster care.

“Our purpose is to help the children get their feet on the ground so they don’t go from foster home to foster home,” Madore said.

They will not attend local schools but would be enrolled here “on paper” and there would be some coordination with the local school’s special services, explained Brenda Longway, the education coordinator for the business, who reported on her conversation with the local services director.

Madore said the state will govern the number of youngsters in the facility. He is seeking approval for 12, but would never serve more than 24 at Parkview.

He added that his staff is educated and trained, but that many positions would not need bachelor’s degrees. He would accept applications from local folks and consider them on an individual basis. “We’ll look at everybody who applies,” he said to one former Parkview employee.

He anticipates hiring about 35 full- and part-time people, beginning this fall, depending on how the licensing process goes, he said.

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