February 27, 2024

COA Kitchen Will Reopen


The kitchen at the Rehoboth Council on Aging will reopen in a few weeks after a new water filtration system was installed at the facility.

“The dishwashing machine is already installed,” Selectman George Solas said Monday. “When the water’s running, we can then test the washing machine to make sure all the pipes work and there are no leaks.”

A new stainless steel table for the kitchen will also be provided.

A state testing process and certification is required for all facilities which supply public drinking water. When the certification is completed, the COA will be completely open.

Last July, Selectmen Chairman Skip Vadnais said the filtration system needed to be updated.

“Because this is such a large system, the filtering systems we need to address, you can’t get the parts right off the shelf,” Vadnais explained.”They got to be special ordered and the system had to be designed by an engineer.”

For the last few months, the water at the COA was only being used for hand-washing and the toilets. Francis Farms’ previous owner did not maintain the certification, which caused headaches for the Board of Selectmen.

“Because the certification fell to the side, we came under the new rules,” Vadnais said. “So we had to start from the beginning. We just couldn’t transfer the certification because (the owner) didn’t have one. We had to start at square one which is a long process.”

Francis Farm hosted clambakes, weddings, and social functions until its closure a few years ago.

Voters at the 2021 town meeting approved the purchase of the 47 acre property at a cost of $2.8 million. Francis Hall is the new home for the COA.

Solas noted the biggest draw for the senior centers he had visited was the food.

“It was the lunches, the hot breakfasts, and once we get this kitchen running and being able to do all that, we’ll see even more people (here),” Solas said.

“Hopefully things will begin to return to normal,” said Selectman Michael Deignan.

“Right now, I don’t see anything that’s going to be stopping us,” Solas added.


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