HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Gov. Ned Lamont and Disability Services Commissioner Amy Porter announced on Tuesday that the Connecticut Department of Aging and Disability Services has been awarded $10 million dollars in federal funds to improve senior centers statewide.

The funds will be distributed to municipalities through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

“Connecticut’s cities and towns do a great job supporting older adults through the operations of their senior centers, which provide incredibly valuable services to many residents statewide. Being able to expand that crucial support through upgraded facilities and modernized services keeps older adults actively involved in their communities and connected to local services,” Lamont said.

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Municipalities may use $9 million in funding to upgrade their current facilities such as air or HVAC systems, lighting, accessibility features, and vehicle acquisition repurposing. Cities and towns can also invest in programming to improve program registration software and website design and user interface. Officials said, municipalities can use the funds to provide specialized entertainment, expand senior center hours and staffing.

“Our senior centers are valued hubs that foster both independence and community support. The Department of Aging and Disability Services is pleased to see not only direct funding for senior centers to continue that charge but also a way to engage and connect these centers at a coordinated state level. Our State Unit on Aging has worked hard with our partners to find ways to engage older adults with information, assistance, socialization, educational programs and so much more,” Porter said.

The remaining funds will be used to improve online services for senior centers, develop media campaigns to increase engagement and support events.