Stern Village gets help from area developer

In Stern Village, the capital improvement list is long and money is tight, but residents and community members are stepping forward to improve safety and quality of life for the 186 residents, many who are elderly or disabled.

Stern Village is a low-income housing complex for seniors and people with disabilities. Executive Director Harriet Polansky said the village is working toward a number of major and costly capital projects, including road improvements. Polansky said they are working to obtain money for roads from the state and through grants.

“Nothing significant has been done in 40 years,” Polansky said of capital needs. “I meant it when I said I want Stern Village to be a model housing authority for the state.”

While plenty of work lies ahead, help from area developer Robert Scinto of RD Scinto Inc. is making the job of the Stern Village Neighborhood Watch a lot easier. Scinto has helped the complex obtain a golf cart that the members of the neighborhood watch use for patrols and to help transport residents who have trouble walking.

Polansky contacted Scinto at the suggestion of his cousin Don Scinto, a resident of the village. A golf cart has been on the village wish list for a while and they have contacted other organizations for help but a new golf cart can cost anywhere from $7,000 to $10,000 and was too large an expense. That’s where Robert Scinto stepped in.

“The golf cart has enabled the Stern Village Neighborhood Watch to get around 16.2 acres with ease, as we work towards a safe and happy community,” Gus Aquino, head of the Neighborhood Watch, said.

The cart, which includes a rack on which to hang walkers, helps bring some of the neediest residents to the community of congregate center, for activities like bingo, or knitting. It can also help neighborhood watch members get around quickly, if needed. For example, Aquino rushed to one resident’s home when he heard the fire alarm going off. It was caused by smoke in the kitchen and he was able to check on things and make sure everything was OK. Aquino said the watch is on duty seven days a week.

The cart is battery-operated, and environmentally friendly. It’s charged at night in a garage.

“Words can’t express my gratitude to Rob Scinto Jr. and RD Scinto for providing us the funding for the golf cart,” Polansky said. “The golf cart is extremely vital for our Stern Village residents. It has provided use with a means of transportation for our frail and elderly residents. They can participate in our many activities in the Congregate or Community Room.”

Scinto stopped by the village last week, saying he was happy to help.

“Trumbull has been good to me,” Scinto said.

Scinto said he enjoys helping senior citizens, whenever possible.

“I do a night of Shakespeare in Shelton and I don’t get anything out of it economically, but I do see 200 seniors out there, enjoying themselves,” he said. “Seniors have a special place in my heart.”