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Tilton Senior Center bus now in service

Kelley Sedgley of The Sign Shop and Pat Consentino, selectman and chair of the Tilton Senior Executive Committee, displayed one of the town seals that decorates the Tilton Senior Center's new bus as well as the lift that makes it handicap accessible for those who utilize a wheelchair. (Photo by Donna Rhodes) (click for larger version)
July 09, 2020
TILTON – The Tilton Senior Center is pleased to announce that its new bus is ready for service, providing seniors in the community with safe, comfortable transportation when they need it.

Pat Consentino, a co-founder of the center and the chair of the Senior Executive Committee, said that the Community Action Program for Belknap and Merrimack Counties was instrumental in locating a bus for the center from Granite State Independent Living, which had one for sale. At the March 2020 town meeting voters then approved the purchase of that 2009 Dodge Sprinter bus for $8,750. Before that purchase was completed however, it was inspected by Tilton Highway Director/Mechanic Kevin Duval, who will be overseeing regular maintenance and repairs for the bus.

"I thought this was a very good deal. It's well worth the money the town invested," he said.

Once the town took ownership this spring, Kelley Sedgley of The Sign Shop then donated her time and talents to create a town seal and other signage for the vehicle.

"We're extremely grateful to Kelley and her community involvement," said Consentino.

Now ready for the road, the bus will be used to take seniors to Walmart and Market Basket once a week. When enough volunteer drivers become available, they will also provide rides to doctor's appointments and eventually begin transporting people on occasional excursion rides, as well as to Bingo and other social events.

The bus can seat up to 10 people, including handicap accessibility with a lift and safety accommodations for up to three wheelchairs.

Currently, only Consentino is certified to drive the bus but four others are in the process.

"There's no CDL license required but volunteers do need to go through a training session and get a medical card to drive it," she said.

To make requests for a ride, seniors can now call 273-1912 to schedule their pick-up dates and times. Anyone interested in volunteering as a driver is asked to contact Consentino at 387-5711 for more information.

Martin Lord & Osman
Varney Smith
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