Crosswalks’ hours to shift

By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

NAPLES — For years, Crosswalk Community Outreach has been holding its bi-monthly food pantry and free meals at the Naples Town Gymnasium.

For the time being, the venue will remain the same. However, the time frame will shift to slightly later in the afternoon.

During this past winter, people started complaining about the inability to find an open parking spot on the Mondays that the pantry was open. Those complaints made their way to the Naples Town Office.

The criticisms about the parking spaces happened months ago. But, the busy schedules of the Crosswalk volunteers and the Naples Board of Selectmen delayed a second meeting to sort out the viable options.

On Monday, Selectman Bob Caron II reported a short-term arrangement — one that the group had decided upon. That is, until all the options for a new venue are fully explored.

Starting Nov. 4, those services will run from 1 to 3 p.m., Caron said.

That is two hours later than the open hours for the pantry and the offering of a free meal, he said.

Every Monday, the town office closes at noon. Therefore, more parking will be available — for U.S. Post Office customers as well as people using the community services.

More than 350 people have registered to use the food pantry, according to Crosswalk Community Outreach’s website.

According to Caron, he and Selectman Christine Powers met with a half-dozen representatives of Crosswalk.

“We had a great conversation,” he said.

“The quickest option is: Starting Nov. 4, they are going to a 1 p.m. start time,” Caron said.

“For the long term, we are still trying to find another place,”

Some of the ideas that had been tossed around include using the upstairs of the American Legion Post No. 155 and the Crooked River Adult Education Center off Route 11.

The Legion has a much bigger parking lot, and an upstairs venue that wouldn’t compete with activities on Mondays. Some changes might need to be made to upgrade the handicap accessibility on the second floor; and it’s very likely that Crosswalk could acquire grant money for that.

Selectmen plan to revisit the issue in late November by stopping into the gym while the pantry is in operation, and asking participants what they think of the later start time.

 

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