POLAND — The oldest townspeople can recall when the Poland Town Hall opened in 1928 and now, following Wednesday afternoon’s ribbon-cutting ceremony, its lower level has become a clubhouse for members of Poland Seniors.

More than 50 people, plus several town employees and volunteers who assisted with the rehabilitation turned out to view the fruit of their labors: an updated kitchen, meeting space, two pool tables, card tables, a ping-pong table and a lounge area with a large-screen TV, as well as partake of refreshments, including punch, cake, fruit and cookies.

Selectman Stan Tetenman and Poland Seniors’ President Jim Green cut the obligatory ribbon while Joel Dulberg video-recorded the event for later showing on the local government channel.

Town Manager Bradley Plante recalled the eight-year effort to improve the building, bring it up to code and make it a usable space for the community. He thanked townspeople and boards of selectmen for providing the money and vision that made the celebration possible.

“We’re not quite done,” he said. “Plans are to cut a ramp into the sidewalk that runs along the side of the building. Drainage is a problem and we’re trying to figure out how to handle water coming off the roof. That would make it about perfect.”

Parks and Recreation Director Scott Segal said, “We’re excited that we now have a place for our senior community to congregate.” 

Segal noted that he received a great deal of advice from Lisbon Recreation Director Cherie Garnett and Aline Strout, coordinator of Lisbon’s senior organization, Sunshine Hill Neighbors.

“They donated a complete set of chinaware to our seniors,” Plante said. “Much appreciated.”

Lloyd Carter, who some six years ago did the groundwork of organizing Poland Seniors, couldn’t have been happier with the new accommodations.

“We used to meet in the conference room over at the Town Office,” Carter said, “There’s just no comparison.”

Green, having cleared the pool table with a minimum of strokes, congratulated Carter for being the prime mover and suggested that he had been the heavy-lifter in making it possible.

“You bet,” Carter said, “Dialed my fingers pretty near to the bone.”

Green noted that while the name of the organization is Poland Seniors, it originally had been Tri-Town Seniors and that the organization was, and is, open to senior citizens from Mechanic Falls and Minot.

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