Taking care of your Loved One Is What We Do BEST!

It's no secret, most of us would like to stay in our own home as we age. Yet, sometimes our loved ones just need a little extra help to remain comfortable at home. That's where Always Best Care can help....we are dedicated to exceeding expectations....always

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Home Care In Hopedale, MA

Home Care Hopedale, MA

They say that your golden years are the best years of your life. For most older Americans, that's how it should be - a time to relax, reflect, and live life in a familiar place. After all, senior citizens in the U.S. have worked tirelessly to build a better economy, serve their communities, and raise families.

However, as seniors grow older, completing daily tasks like showering and enjoying activities such as visiting the historic The Little Red Shop Museum gets harder without someone by their side. Unfortunately, many older Americans aren't able to rely on their adult children for help. The reality in today's world is that family members do not have the skills or time to dedicate to caring for their parents. That's where Always Best Care Senior Services comes in.

Our in-home care services are for people who prefer to stay at home as they grow older but need ongoing care that family or friends cannot provide. More and more older adults prefer to live far away from long-term, institutionalized facilities and closer to the place where they feel most comfortable - their home. Home care in Hopedale, MA is a safe, effective way to give your loved ones the care they need when they need it the most.

 In-Home Care Hopedale, MA

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The Always Best Care Difference

Since 1996, Always Best Care has provided non-medical in-home care for seniors to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle as they get older. We are proud to have helped more than 25,000 seniors maintain higher levels of dignity and respect. We focus on providing seniors with the highest level of in-home care available so that they may live happily and independently.

Unlike some senior care companies, we genuinely want to be included in our clients' lives. We believe that personalized care is always the better option over a "one size fits all" approach. To make sure our senior clients receive the best care possible, we pair them with compassionate caregivers who understand their unique needs. That way, they may provide care accordingly without compromising their wellbeing.

The Always Best Care difference lies in life's little moments - where compassionate care and trustworthy experience come together to help seniors live a fruitful, healthy life. Whether you are an aging adult that can't quite keep up with life's daily tasks or the child of a senior who needs regular in-home services, Always Best Care is here to help.


“Kingsley, first may I say what a wonderful person Aggie has been during this week helping my wife on her return from Knollwood. She is most attentive, helpful and pleasant. It is hard to find a nicer person to have sharing ones home. We are very pleased you chose her to be with us.”

debi C.

“I would like to thank you for your professional care and handling of my Mom’s extended home care. When I called you for assistance with Thelma’s home care needs you were such a good listener and I could feel your warmth and good spirit over the phone”

Olga D.

“I would like to take sometime to commend our caregiver Holly for the wonderful job she is doing with my dad by providing in home care. She is caring, engaging , and provides professional services and the best companionship for my Dad !! Great job to Always Best Care !!!!”

lori L.

“Our 85 year old mother needed overnight care following repeated hospitalizations over a 9 month period and ensuing hospice care. We called Kingsley, the Director, who was kind, gracious, professional, and knowledgeable. Flexible scheduling was also a priority and we always received immediate attention. The Director even brought over the PCAs personally to introduce them and would visit to ensure our mother’s needs were being met.The office staff and PCAs were kind and professional. Overall would highly recommend this agency.”

Kristin B.

“Their professionalism and response to questions and concerns. They were the only agency that said they could help us for the care of my husband. The care takers are responsible, and really care for the person and caretaker. Their secretary is very professional and helpful and always gets back to me. Kingsley is fantastic, professional, caring, and goes over an beyond his call of his profession. We are very thankful for Always Best Care and I have recommended them to friends and rehab centers.”

Annette G.

“Always Best Care of Greater Worcester is wonderful. The person who answers the telephone (her name is Donna), and she's older like we are. She has a clue about what we're talking about when we're asking for help and why, so it becomes a very personal conversation. I was introduced to the director. He is an RN, plus a few other things. When he comes in to do the assessment for what you need, he works really hard at putting together the right caregiver with the person asking. He was just absolutely lovely. We needed somebody who could drive to do errands, and then I needed help with the laundry and occasional meals. The caregiver picks up and tidies around. She does bathing for my husband, who is almost bedbound. She does other simple health-related things for him. For me, she helps with my bathing because I have a bad back and bad knees. She's nice, and she's sweet. She can be a little tough when she needs to be, which is what we wanted. Not to be abusive, but just someone with a firm hand. When you don't feel well, you tend to act like a 7-year-old; it doesn't matter how old you are. She is just lovely. We couldn't ask for anything better.”


“It's a great company to work there. I have learned a lot from this company. I was not left on my own when I started working, everyone is friendly and pleasant.”

Boakye V.

“Staff was very professional during consultation.”

chief M.

“The Schedulers are very professional and respectful. they work with the caregivers very well and find them the right cases. The pay is also very great”

Emelia F.

“Always Best Care is a great place to work where they really care about their clients and employees! Absolutely would recommend to anyone looking for care for themselves or a loved one, or a new job!”

Anna R.

“Your loved ones will be in great care with Always Best Care of Worcester.”

Bobbi D.

What is Non-Medical Senior Care in Hopedale, MA?


Home is where the heart is. While that saying can sound a tad cliche, it is especially true for many seniors living in America. When given a choice, older adults most often prefer to grow older at home. An AARP study found that three out of four adults over the age of 50 want to stay in their homes and communities as they age.


When you begin to think about why, it makes sense. Home offers a sense of security, comfort, and familiarity.


The truth is, as we age, we begin to rely on others for help. When a family is too busy or lives too far away to fulfill this role, in-home senior care is often the best solution. Home care services allow seniors to enjoy personal independence while also receiving trustworthy assistance from a trained caregiver.


At Always Best Care, we offer a comprehensive range of home care services to help seniors stay healthy while they get the help they need to remain independent. As your senior loved one gets older, giving them the gift of senior care is one of the best ways to show your love, even if you live far away.

 Senior Care Hopedale, MA

Types of Elderly Care in Hopedale, MA

To give our senior clients the best care possible, we offer a full spectrum of in-home care services:

Personal Care

Personal Care Services

If your senior loved one has specific care needs, our personal care services are a great choice to consider. Personal care includes the standard caregiving duties associated with companion care and includes help with tasks such as dressing and grooming. Personal care can also help individuals with chronic conditions like diabetes.

Common personal care services include assistance with:

  • Eating
  • Mobility Issues
  • Incontinence
  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Grooming

Respite Care Hopedale, MA
Home Helper

Home Helper Services

Sometimes, seniors need helpful reminders to maintain a high quality of life at home. If you or your senior has trouble with everyday tasks like cooking, our home helper services will be very beneficial.

Common home helper care services include assistance with:

  • Medication Reminders
  • Meal Preparation
  • Pet Care
  • Prescription Refills
  • Morning Wake-Up
  • Walking
  • Reading
 Caregivers Hopedale, MA
Companionship Services

Companionship Services

Using this kind of care is a fantastic way to make life easier for you or your senior loved one. At Always Best Care, our talented caregivers often fill the role of a companion for seniors. That way, older adults can enjoy their favorite local activities, such as visiting Hopedale Park with friends while also receiving the care they need daily or weekly.

Common companionship services include:

  • Grocery Shopping
  • Transportation to Appointments
  • Nutritional Assistance
  • Conversation
  • Planning Outings
  • Completing Errands
  • Transportation to Community
  • Events and Social Outings
Home Care Hopedale, MA
Respite Care

Respite Care Services

According to AARP, more than 53 million adults living in the U.S. provide care to someone over 50 years old. Unfortunately, these caregivers experience stress, exhaustion, and even depression. Our respite care services help family caregivers address urgent obligations, spend time with their children, and enjoy nearby activities. Perhaps more importantly, respite care gives family members time to recharge and regroup. Taking personal time to de-stress reduces the risk of caregiver burnout. So, if you've always wanted to eat at the local Alicante Restaurant & Lounge or visit Prospect Heights Historic District (Milford, Massachusetts), don't feel bad. Doing so is great for both you and your loved one.

At the end of the day, our goal is to become a valuable part of your senior's daily routine. That way, we may help give them the highest quality of life possible. We know that staying at home is important for your loved one, and we are here to help make sure that is possible.

If you have been on the fence about non-medical home care, there has never been a better time than now to give your senior the care, assistance, and companionship they deserve.

 In-Home Care Hopedale, MA

Benefits of Home Care in Hopedale, MA

Always Best Care in-home services are for older adults who prefer to stay at home but need ongoing care that friends and family cannot provide. In-home care is a safe, effective way for seniors to age gracefully in a familiar place and live independent, non-institutionalized lives. The benefits of non-medical home care are numerous. Here are just a few reasons to consider senior care services from Always Best Care:

Always Best Care offers a full array of care options for patients at all levels of health. With our trusted elderly care services, your loved one will receive the level of care necessary for them to enjoy the highest possible quality of life.

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Aging in Place: The Preferred Choice for Most Seniors

While it's true that some seniors have complicated medical needs that prevent them from staying at home, aging in place is often the best arrangement for seniors and their families. With a trusted caregiver, seniors have the opportunity to live with a sense of dignity and do so as they see fit - something that is unavailable to many older people today.

In-home care makes it possible for millions of seniors to age in place every year. Rather than moving to a strange nursing home, seniors have the chance to stay at home where they feel the happiest and most comfortable.

Here are just a few of the reasons why older men and women prefer to age at home:

How much does a senior's home truly mean to them?

A study published by the American Society on Aging found that more than half of seniors say their home's emotional value means more than how much their home is worth in monetary value. It stands to reason, then, that a senior's home is where they want to grow old.

With the help of elderly care in Hopedale, MA, seniors don't have to age in a sterilized care facility. Instead, they can age gracefully in the place they want to be most: their home. In contrast, seniors who move to a long-term care facility must adapt to new environments, new people, and new systems that the facility implements. At this stage in life, this kind of drastic change can be more harmful than helpful.

Institutional care facilities like nursing homes often put large groups of people together to live in one location. On any given day, dozens of staff members and caregivers run in and out of these facilities. Being around so many new people in a relatively small living environment can be dangerous for a seniors' health and wellbeing. When you consider that thousands of seniors passed away in nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, opting for in-home care is often a safer, healthier choice for seniors.

Aging in place has been shown to improve seniors' quality of life, which helps boost physical health and also helps insulate them from viral and bacterial risks found in elderly living facilities.

For many seniors, the ability to live independently with assistance from a caregiver is a priceless option. With in-home care, seniors experience a higher level of independence and freedom - much more so than in other settings like a nursing home. When a senior has the chance to age in place, they get to live life on their own terms, inside the house that they helped make into a home. More independence means more control over their personal lives, too, which leads to increased levels of fulfillment, happiness, and personal gratification. Over time, these positive feelings can manifest into a healthier, longer life.

More independence, a healthier life, and increased comfort are only a few benefits of aging in place. You have to take into consideration the role of cost and convenience. Simply put, it's usually easier and more affordable to help seniors age in place than it is to move them into an institutional care facility. According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, seniors who age in the comfort of their homes can save thousands of dollars per month.

In-home care services from Always Best Care, for instance, are often less expensive than long-term solutions, which can cost upwards of six figures per year. To make matters worse, many residential care facilities are reluctant to accept long-term care insurance and other types of payment assistance.

With Always Best Care's home care services, seniors and their families have a greater level of control over their care plans. In-home care gives seniors the chance to form a bond with a trusted caregiver and also receive unmatched care that is catered to their needs. In long-term care facilities, seniors and their loved ones have much less control over their care plan and have less of a say in who provides their care.

 Elderly Care Hopedale, MA

Affordable Care

In-home care is a valuable resource that empowers seniors to age in place on their own terms. However, a big concern for many families and their loved ones is how much in-home care costs. If you're worried that in-home care is too expensive, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that it is one of the most affordable senior care arrangements available.

Typically, hiring an Always Best Care in-home caregiver for a few hours a week is more affordable than sending your loved one to a long-term care facility. This is true even for seniors with more complex care needs.

At Always Best Care, we will work closely with you and your family to develop a Care Plan that not only meets your care needs, but your budget requirements, too. Once we discover the level of care that you or your senior need, we develop an in-home care plan that you can afford.

In addition to our flexible care options, families should also consider the following resources to help offset potential home care costs:

If your loved one qualifies, Medicaid may help reduce in-home care costs. Review your MA's Medicaid program laws and benefits, and make sure your senior's financial and medical needs meet Medicaid eligibility requirements.
Attendance and aid benefits through military service can cover a portion of the costs associated with in-home care for veterans and their spouses.
Many senior care services like in-home care are included in long-term care insurance options. Research different long-term care solutions to find a plan that provides coverage for senior care.
Home care can be included as part of a senior's private insurance plan. Read over your loved one's insurance policy carefully or speak with their insurance provider to determine if in-home care is covered.
Depending on the life insurance plan, you may be able to apply your policy toward long-term care. You may be able to use long-term-care coverage to help pay for in-home elderly care.
 Senior Care Hopedale, MA

Compassionate Care. Trusted Caregivers.

When you or your senior loved one needs assistance managing daily tasks at home, finding a qualified caregiver can be challenging. It takes a special kind of person to provide reliable care for your senior loved one. However, a caregiver's role involves more than meal preparation and medication reminders. Many seniors rely on their caregivers for companionship, too.

Our companion care services give seniors the chance to socialize in a safe environment and engage in activities at home. These important efforts boost morale and provide much-needed relief from repetitive daily routines. A one-on-one, engaging conversation can sharpen seniors' minds and give them something in which to be excited.

At Always Best Care, we only hire care providers that we would trust to care for our own loved ones. Our senior caregivers in Hopedale, MA understand how important it is to listen and communicate with their seniors. A seemingly small interaction, like a short hug goodbye, can make a major difference in a senior's day. Instead of battling against feelings of isolation, seniors begin to look forward to seeing their caregiver each week.

Understanding the nuances of senior care is just one of the reasons why our care providers are so great at their job.

Unlike some senior care companies, our caregivers must undergo extensive training before they work for Always Best Care. In addition, our caregivers receive ongoing training throughout the year. This training ensures that their standard of care matches up to the high standards we've come to expect. During this training, they will brush up on their communication skills, safety awareness, and symptom spotting. That way, your loved one receives the highest level of non-medical home care from day one.

Assisted Living Referral Services

While it's true that many seniors prefer to age at home, sometimes in-home care isn't the best fit. For those seniors and their families, choosing an assisted living facility makes more sense. Unfortunately, finding the optimal care facility is easier said than done in today's day and age. That's when Always Best Care's assisted living referral services begin to make a lot of sense.

Assisted living is a form of housing intended for seniors who require varying degrees of medical and personal attention. Accommodations may include single rooms, apartments, or shared living arrangements. Assisted living communities are typically designed to resemble a home-like environment and are physically constructed to encourage the independence of residents.

Respite Care Hopedale, MA

At assisted living communities, seniors receive help with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, and eating. They may also benefit from coordination of services with outside healthcare providers, and monitoring of resident activities to ensure their health, safety, and well-being. Caregivers who work at assisted living communities can also provide medication administration and personal care services for older adults.

Other services offered within assisted living communities can include some or all of the following:

  • Housekeeping
  • Laundry
  • Recreational Activities
  • Social Outings
  • Emergency Medical Response
  • Medication Monitoring
  • Family Visitation
  • Personal Care
 Caregivers Hopedale, MA

At Always Best Care, our representatives can match your senior's emotional, physical, and financial needs with viable assisted living communities nearby. Results are based on comparative data, so you can select the best choice for you or your loved one.

Always Best Care works closely with local senior living communities to gain valuable knowledge that we then use to help seniors and their loved ones make informed decisions. This information can include basic care and rent, resident availability, and services provided. Because Always Best Care is compensated by these communities, we provide senior living referral services at no extra cost to you.

Some of the most popular assisted living communities to consider in our area include the following:

  • Atria Draper Place
  • The Ledges
  • The Residence at Whitcomb House
  • Blaire House of Milford Assisted Living
  • Council On Aging
Home Care Hopedale, MA

For many seniors, moving into a senior living community revolves around how and when they want to make a transition to more involved care. Some seniors are more proactive about transitioning to independent living. Others choose to remain home until their care needs or other requirements are satisfied. Remember - our staff is here to help. Contact our office today to learn more about assisted living communities and how we can find a facility that exceeds your expectations.

 In-Home Care Hopedale, MA

Taking the First Step with Always Best Care

The first step in getting quality in-home care starts with a personal consultation with an experienced Always Best Care Care Coordinator. This initial consultation is crucial for our team to learn more about you or your elderly loved one to discover the level of care required. Topics of this consultation typically include:

A discussion of your needs and how our trained caregivers can offer assistance in the most effective way


A draft of your care plan, which includes highly detailed notes and a framework for the care that you or your senior will receive


Discuss payment options and help coordinate billing with your insurance provider


Our caregivers are trained to spot changes that clients exhibit, like mental and physical decline. As your trusted senior care company, we will constantly assess and update your Care Plan to meet any new emotional, intellectual, physical, and emotional needs.

If you have never considered in-home care before, we understand that you and your family may have concerns about your Care Plan and its Care Coordinator. To help give you peace of mind, know that every team member and caregiver must undergo comprehensive training before being assigned to a Care Plan.

At the end of the day, we only hire the best of the best at Always Best Care. Whether you need home care in Hopedale, MA 24-hours a day or only need a respite for a couple of hours, we are here to serve you.

When you're ready, we encourage you to contact your local Always Best Care representative to set up a Care Consultation. Our Care Coordinators would be happy to meet with you in person to get to know you better, discuss your needs, and help put together a personalized Care Plan specific to your needs.

 Elderly Care Hopedale, MA

Latest News in Hopedale, MA

Milford's Mitch Ruscitti Takes Over As Hopedale Town Administrator

HOPEDALE, MA — After some shaky months in Hopedale that included a property tax override and the resignation of a top town official, a longtime Milford leader has taken over at the helm of town government.Mitch Ruscitti, a longtime public servant and member of several Milford town committees, took over as Hopedale town administrator at the end of June. Ruscitti is Hopedale's first permanent town administrator — the chief executive of the town, overseeing departments and reporting to the Select Board — since Diana Sch...

HOPEDALE, MA — After some shaky months in Hopedale that included a property tax override and the resignation of a top town official, a longtime Milford leader has taken over at the helm of town government.

Mitch Ruscitti, a longtime public servant and member of several Milford town committees, took over as Hopedale town administrator at the end of June. Ruscitti is Hopedale's first permanent town administrator — the chief executive of the town, overseeing departments and reporting to the Select Board — since Diana Schindler resigned in October after a dispute with the Select Board over a performance review.

Now in the town's top job, Ruscitti, 35, hopes to begin steering Hopedale away from recent turmoil and toward focusing on quality-of-life issues like improving parks, attracting developments in line with the character of the town and a Complete Streets project along Adin Street providing a link to the Milford Regional Medical Center campus.

Some of the work will be financial. Hopedale voters in May approved a $1.35 million property tax override that prevented the town library and senior center from closing after a budget shortfall. Other local small towns in Massachusetts have faced similar choices this year, but voted down tax increases.

Ruscitti's path to the top job in Hopedale actually began in Hopedale. Although he grew up in Milford, Ruscitti is a 2005 graduate of Hopedale High School. He went on to graduate from UMass-Lowell, and earned a master’s degree in public administration at the University of Kentucky. He worked in the office of former Kentucky governor Steve Beshear, the Worcester city manager's office and in Rutland.

Ruscitti recently served on the Milford Finance Committee, helping to oversee spending recommendations ahead of Town Meeting. He also served on the Downtown Revitalization Committee.

Ruscitti helped lead an effort along with Milford Parks Director Jim Asam to raise over $6,500 to rebuild the Tank Field playground in Milford. He also helped the town apply for a $1.3 million federal Community Development Block Grant to use for a variety of projects around town.

He counts Asam and Milford Town Administrator Richard Villani as mentors in his journey to a leadership role in Hopedale.

"I'm extremely grateful for being able to cut my teeth with them," he said.

Ruscitti said one of his main goals is just letting Hopedale residents know he's on the job and ready to serve. The administrator's office is open every weekday for residents who want to talk, and he's available by phone or email, too.

"For me, it's just letting the community know I'm here, just trying to get some positive momentum going," he said.

Mitch Ruscitti brings experience, connections to new job as Hopedale administrator

HOPEDALE — When the town administrator job in Hopedale opened up late last year, Mitch Ruscitti knew he had to apply.He had the municipal experience. And he had connections. After growing up in Milford, Ruscitti graduated from Hopedale Junior and Senior High School in 2005."I had a great experience here in town," Ruscitti said of Hopedale. "The two communities have really a synergistic...

HOPEDALE — When the town administrator job in Hopedale opened up late last year, Mitch Ruscitti knew he had to apply.

He had the municipal experience. And he had connections. After growing up in Milford, Ruscitti graduated from Hopedale Junior and Senior High School in 2005.

"I had a great experience here in town," Ruscitti said of Hopedale. "The two communities have really a synergistic connection. A lot of the families go back and forth, they know each other, a lot of families have family across the border in Milford. The two communities are steeped in each other's history."

Schindler resigns:Former Hopedale administrator says Select Board failed to set goals

In June, Ruscitti was chosen by the Hopedale Select Board to become town administrator. He succeeded interim Town Administrator Jeff Nutting. Nutting, the retired Franklin administrator, came to Hopedale after former Town Administrator Diana Schindler resigned in late 2022.

"I can't describe enough to the town how appreciative I am to be here," Ruscitti said. "I treat this job very differently, I think, than I would if I was town administrator somewhere else."

He added that his background in the area helps him understand the town and its goals.

"There's an aesthetic beauty to the town that I think the people want to preserve," he said. "There really still is that small-town feel here that permeates the culture. Everyone looks out for each other."

Town administrator talks plans following override vote

Ruscitti became town administrator just after Hopedale voters approved a $1.35 million override in the town's budget. That enabled the town to avoid closing the Bancroft Memorial Library and Hopedale Senior Center but raised property taxes on residents and businesses.

Ruscitti said he has plans for Hopedale's financial situation going forward.

"What I would like to do is bring the town up to compliance with best practices for financial management but also we have some projects that will allow for larger pools of free cash," Ruscitti said. The free cash — a term used to describe money that is left over at the end of a fiscal year — will allow the town the pay off debt and bonds, as well as invest in infrastructure and capital projects.

'Town had no money':Hopedale approves $1.35M override to balance town budget

Long term, Ruscitti wants to set high professional standards for his office and to invest in things people can touch and feel. He used the example of his plan to put a new fire truck on the warrant for Hopedale's fall Town Meeting. It would replace an existing vehicle that dates to 1993.

"The year that that fire engine that's going to show up at your house if there's an emergency was created (when) Hootie & the Blowfish had the No. 1 album in the United States," Ruscitti said.

Long history of civil service

After earning a master's degree from the University of Kentucky, Ruscitti worked in the Worcester City Manager's Office before returning to Kentucky to work for the governor. He then began working at Veterans Inc. in Worcester.

Following a three-year stint as a selectman in Rutland, Ruscitti began working as a community engagement manager in 2021 in Framingham until 2023. He also has his own municipal consulting firm, Tillrock Consulting.

Ruscitti also recently helped the Milford Parks Department secure a $1.3 million grant to support renovations at Milford Town Park.

More:Milford lands more than $1.3M in grant money. How they plan to spend it

Jim Asam, Milford's parks director, considers himself fortunate to have worked with Ruscitti.

"It was a great knowing it was a six-month process that took six weeks because of his knowledge of grants," Asam said, of the Milford Town Park project. "It's nice to see stuff get done."

Asam added that Ruscitti also "had a big hand in" the Draper Park revitalization, working with the state to get matching grants.

"It was a tough time for the state, during COVID, but it moved smoothly," Asam said. "He will be missed. I had a good working relationship with him, and I wish him the best in Hopedale."

Ruscitti said he wants to replicate the Milford Town Park project in Hopedale, even if it's not from the same pot of money.

"Parks and playgrounds, that's a big thing for me," he said. "Those are projects people in the community can see and interact with. Nobody gets jazzed up about retaining walls or a new water tower or stormwater management, even though those are (also) very important things."

As for Ruscitti's own family, he has two young daughters and lives in Milford.

"Sundays are awesome," he said. "Every (Sunday) morning we get up, we go to Mass and my daughters — they're in a unique position — they love watching football with Daddy, so we make Sunday afternoons in the fall special."

'The town had no money.' Hopedale approves $1.35M override to balance town budget

HOPEDALE — Voters have approved a $1.35 million override in the town's budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1, a move that avoids closure of the Bancroft Memorial Library and Hopedale Senior Center but raises property taxes on residents and businesses....

HOPEDALE — Voters have approved a $1.35 million override in the town's budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1, a move that avoids closure of the Bancroft Memorial Library and Hopedale Senior Center but raises property taxes on residents and businesses.

Interim Town Administrator Jeff Nutting put it bluntly: "The town had no money, we had no other option."

Nutting, who was Franklin's town administrator for 18 years before retiring in 2019, was appointed interim administrator in Hopedale last year after former Town Administrator Diana Schindler resigned.

A document prepared by Nutting in April indicated that a successful override vote would raise the annual taxes due on a typical Hopedale home — one valued at $450,000 — by $562 for fiscal 2024, which begins July 1. That estimate accounts for only the override, and is in addition to any tax increases associated with the regular town budget.

Temporary tax hike:Hopedale voters OK debt exclusion worth nearly $300K

The override had to be approved both at Town Meeting on May 16 and during a special town election a week later. Of 1,483 ballots cast during the special election, 1,075 people voted in favor of the override with 405 against.

In addition to closure of the library and senior center, a failed override would have also meant cuts in teachers, sports programs, transportation services and summer programs.

2020 special election:Hopedale voters reject $1.3 million tax override

The need for an override was the result of a gap between the town's projected revenues and expenses for fiscal 2024, according to an online statement about Hopedale's financial position. The gap was estimated to be more than $1.86 million.

"A $2 million gap is huge in a little town," Nutting said. He said the gap was not hard to figure out when the process began for making the coming fiscal year's budget.

"We had an honest debate about it," Nutting said, explaining that discussions and presentations were targeted toward the schools, senior center and parks commission.

"In order to balance the budget, the recommendation is to reduce the school budget request by over $1 million, close the library, senior center and parks programs, along with several other reductions in the requested budgets," the document prepared by Nutting earlier this year reads.

Use of free cash

Hopedale has been using free cash — funds left over from previous years — to help balance its annual budget. Nutting's report compared the free cash to getting a bonus.

"In other words, your yearly expenses exceed your yearly income, so you did the best you could to get by using the bonus but now you face an even bigger problem. Something must give. You need to cut some expenses or earn extra income," the report reads.

Bad budgeting or something else?:Prop. 2 1/2 overrides disappearing, but taxpayers still pay

The snapshot goes on to say that Hopedale is in the same situation, and has been living off the "bonus," but that the town needs to phase out this practice.

Nutting's snapshot said cuts must be made in the school budget, library, council on aging, parks and other budgets or there would need to be an override.

Hopedale's budget shortfall

Revenue sources for Hopedale are projected to increase in the next fiscal year, according to Nutting's report. The town's revenue would increase from property taxes ($604,000), state aid ($34,000, which varies) and local receipts such as excise tax and fees ($119,000). These totals, along with the proposed use of $100,000 from free cash, would bring in $857,000 in additional available revenue.

However, a $521,236 increase in expenses to Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School, as well as debt and interest, pension and other items, would leave just $335,764 available for all other town departments.

'A somewhat magical place':Hopedale library trustees name Tricia Perry as permanent director

According to the town, the projected deficit would have been $1,766,800, which would require cuts to close, including more than $1 million from the school budget.

Thanks to the override vote, however, those cuts did not occur.

Hopedale previously held override votes in 2019 and 2020. Voters approved a $430,000 override in 2019 but rejected a $1.3 million proposed override in 2020.

Bancroft Memorial Library Director Tricia Perry said that if the override not passed, a library closure would have been a "critical" loss for the town.

"If the library closes," she said, "the library loses certification from the state. Once you lose certification, you cannot regain certification for a full fiscal year."

Perry also said that if the Hopedale library had closed, libraries in the Central and Western Massachusetts Automated Resource Sharing (CW MARS) network would have revoked borrowing privileges from Hopedale residents.

Also, Bancroft Library staff members would have lost their jobs on July 1.

"The staff were thrilled when it passed, it would have been devastating for the community," Perry said.

According to Nutting, the town took other measures to save money, including cutting vacant positions and cutting overtime in the Fire, Police and Highway departments.

Hopedale running coach Joe Drugan keeps on the move with his team, job at Gillette at 78

After Joe Drugan’s wife, Andrea, stepped down from coaching field hockey at Hopedale High in 1993, the longtime coach sprung an impromptu...

After Joe Drugan’s wife, Andrea, stepped down from coaching field hockey at Hopedale High in 1993, the longtime coach sprung an impromptu challenge on her husband during his 50th birthday party a year later.

“She said ‘I’m retiring. Hey, let’s see what you can do!’” Drugan recalled. “I had no inclination (to coach). I looked at her for maybe 10 seconds and finally said ‘Are you crazy?!’ ... I thought it over and said ‘You know what, let’s give it a crack.’”

Soon after his birthday celebration, Drugan, a lifelong runner, volunteered to help coach the Hopedale cross country team. A few years later, he took over as head coach in the fall and even added spring and winter running to his repertoire.

“I took the ball and ran with it,” Drugan, 78, said.

Rolling with the punches

The same year Drugan began coaching at Hopedale, the resident of Hopedale started working at Gillette Stadium in team operations as a football and soccer supervisor.

Drugan has seen it all through his three decades at 1 Patriot Place during New England Patriots and Revolution events. From Gronk spikes to Taylor Twellman goals. And everything in between.

In 2015, Pats owner Robert Kraft invited Drugan to travel to Arizona to watch Super Bowl XLIX between the Patriots and Seattle Seahawks.

“I thought they were going to give the ball to ‘Beast Mode!’” Drugan said of the Seahawks’ infamous decision to call a pass play instead of run with Marshawn Lynch.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Drugan’s job responsibilities changed at Gillette Stadium.

He transitioned from supervising those who watched Tom Brady (or Cam Newton) throw the deep ball to assisting medical professionals administer vaccines. The pandemic turned the home of the Pats and Revs into one of the most utilized vaccination spots on the East Coast.

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Although his day-to-day operations were adjusted, Drugan was up for the challenge.

“To me, I just went with the punches,” he said.

‘Just gotta keep on moving’

With Gillette Stadium transitioned back now to a sporting venue, Drugan is excited to regain a sense of normalcy: both in Hopedale and Foxborough.

Drugan’s pulling double duty by supervising Pats training camp while prepping for the Hopedale cross country season.

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Entering his 29th year with the Blue Raiders, the four-time state champion as a coach hopes to see a big season from a few of his runners, including senior captain Ryan Hayes.

“Running under Coach Drugan has been an amazing experience, mostly because he prepares us mentally, not just physically to succeed,” Hayes said. “I think the mentality part is what sets him apart from so many other coaches.”

Through the three decades of coaching, Drugan’s appreciation for his family is what has kept him going strong. He credits his wife for her fateful prodding.

“If it wasn’t for her, I don’t think I’d be coaching cross country,” Drugan said. “She gave me the challenge and I went with it.”

Tim Maguire has coached with Drugan since 2010 with the Hopedale cross country, indoor and outdoor track teams. Maguire, like many, doesn't see Drugan hanging it up anytime soon.

“I think people have whispered ‘Oh, he might retire’ for the last decade. I don’t think he’s gonna retire until he’s under ground,” Maguire said. “I don’t think I’ve ever met any coach (as passionate about his runners). … He just loves the kids.”

As for Drugan, he’s just putting one foot in front of the next. He kinda likes this whole coaching thing.

“No time frame for me,” he said. “Just gotta keep on moving.”

Draper mill demolition: Worcester developer to raze Hopedale complex

During its hey-day in the early to mid-20th century, the Draper Corp. in Hopedale was the country’s leading manufacturer of power looms for the textile industry and employed more than 3,000 people.A centerpiece of the town’s history, the 80-acre, 1.8 million square-foot complex has sat vacant for four decades and redevelopment plans have hit roadblocks in recent years, but last week’s announcement by Hopedale Properties, LLC, which has owned the site since 1990, that the former Draper factory would be fully demolishe...

During its hey-day in the early to mid-20th century, the Draper Corp. in Hopedale was the country’s leading manufacturer of power looms for the textile industry and employed more than 3,000 people.

A centerpiece of the town’s history, the 80-acre, 1.8 million square-foot complex has sat vacant for four decades and redevelopment plans have hit roadblocks in recent years, but last week’s announcement by Hopedale Properties, LLC, which has owned the site since 1990, that the former Draper factory would be fully demolished, is a major step forward for the revitalization project.

“We are definitely moving forward,” said Philip Shwachman, principal of Hopedale Properties, LLC, and First American Realty Inc. of Worcester. “This is a big commitment in terms of time and expense for our staff, as well as others that are involved.

“We are optimistic for the future prospects of this key development site in the heart of Hopedale and very pleased with the enthusiastic support from local residents and community leaders alike,” Shwachman said.

In August, Hopedale Properties announced that a 250,000 square-foot section of the Draper property that posed significant structural and environmental concerns to the redevelopment efforts would be torn down, and that wing, located on the south side and closest to Town Hall, has been totally demolished, Shwachman said.

Since abatement and demolition began, new structural concerns were identified in the remaining portions of the complex, which led to the decision for full demolition.

Another 25% of the building’s square footage, along Freedom St., has been fully abated of asbestos, Shwachman said.

“The asbestos that was remaining was primarily roof flashings, window caulking and glazing,” Shwachman said, “so all the windows are removed and portions of the roof trim are gone. That was recently completed.”

Shwachman anticipated a demolition permit for that section to be issued soon.

The abatement and demolition at the site is expected to be completed by the end of June.

“That’s our schedule,” Shwachman said.

In planning redevelopment of the property, Shwachman has been working with the Worcester Business Development Corp. on a master planning process for the last year and a half.

“They’re a very talented group,” Shwachman said, “and we’re looking for their assistance and participation and visioning and master planning for the re-use of the site.”

Among WBDC’s numerous noteworthy projects are the Mercantile Center, the former Telegram & Gazette building at 20 Franklin St., the Central Building, the Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts, and the Voke Lofts, all in Worcester.

“We certainly look at projects that are a little bit more on the difficult side,” said WBDC senior project manager Julie Holstrom, “that normal market developers wouldn’t necessarily take on for any number of reasons, being environmental, historic, you name it, and that’s really why I believe Mr. Shwachman contacted us to take a look at this property because this is something that, yes, we have seen in the past and have had to make those hard decisions of, ‘Do you keep going with a study?’ or ‘Let’s look at all these different avenues of how a property can be re-used,’ or ‘What are the final uses that can be there?’ That’s certainly what we’ve done in the past.”

The Draper Corp. operated out of the site for about 130 years, and Shwachman said he hoped to preserve some of the historic property.

“That’s why we let it stand for so long,” he said, “even though some of the buildings were fairly deteriorated even when we got them.”

Craig Blais, president and CEO of the WBDC, said the decision for Hopedale Properties to pursue complete demolition of the property did not come easily.

“It’s not an easy decision to tear down a building that has such history in a community,” Holstrom added, “but I think when you look at what the future potential holds, it can be great, while also looking at ways to honor the history that’s there. I think that is something that Phil is very keen to do, maintaining the historical nature, memorializing the Draper complex.”

Initial findings from a market study, Holstrom said, identified a number of potential uses, including multi-family and senior residential, industrial/flex space, and open space.

In addition to the WBDC’s work, the town of Hopedale is working with the Central Massachusetts Planning Commission to complete a comprehensive update of the community’s master plan, documenting the community’s needs and how they can be addressed.

“This redevelopment initiative has been a long time in the making,” Hopedale town administrator Diana Schindler said, “and just as Draper Company was a vital component of Hopedale’s economic past, the town is excited to be partnered with Hopedale Properties, WBDC and CMRPC to vision and plan for an even more diverse, equally vibrant future, even in the face of these unprecedented times.”


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