The senior tax work-off program received an update this week as the board of selectmen approved some minor procedural changes.

These changes come at the request of Council on Aging director Joanne Moore, who administers the program, which has been in existence since 1995.

The program allows citizens over age 65 to earn $1,000 off their real estate tax bill by working 125 hours for the town, assisting in various departments in town hall and at the senior center. They get paid minimum wage ($8 an hour). Up to 35 seniors can participate in the program.

When the program was instituted 18 years ago, it allowed seniors to earn up to $500 off their taxes by working 100 hours at $5 an hour. Then, five seniors participated. The program has expanded over the years and last year Moore said 33 seniors participated.

The changes made to the program include a new rolling application basis that begins on Sept. 15 and ends Oct. 15 with the added requirement that all work be completed by Dec. 31. Also, the abatement earned (which can be prorated if it does not equal $1,000) will now be applied to the fourth quarter tax bill.

Selectmen voted unanimously to adopt the changes at their Monday meeting. The program is offered on a first-come, first-served basis, said Moore, and past participation does not guarantee a future spot.

In the past, seniors have assisted in many different town departments performing various duties, such as answering telephones at the senior center and fire department, selling burning permits and beach stickers, and helping organize programs at the senior center.

“People who have participated are highly qualified and have benefited the town in many ways,” said Moore.

Anyone interested in the program can look up the guidelines on the senior center website or call Moore at the COA, 781-934-5774.

In other business, selectmen: 

  • Approved a 10-year lease extension for Claire Bezdeck for an aquaculture grant located west of Two Rock channel.
  • Agreed to let Town Manager René Read sign the Duxbury Beach lease that begins Aug. 15 and ends next June. Selectmen could not sign the lease at this meeting since there were only two selectmen present and one was Selectman Shawn Dahlen. Dahlen is vice president of the board of directors of the Duxbury Beach Reservation, Inc. and therefore unable to sign the lease. Selectmen Ted Flynn and David Madigan will ratify Read’s signature at their next meeting Aug. 26 and then sign it themselves. Read said he spoke to town counsel about this issue and received the directions on how to proceed.
  • Learned that the recent sea level rise study is on the town’s website.
  • Announced that Duxbury has received its Chapter 90 highway funding from the state and will begin paving the following roads: Church Street from Simmons Drive to Route 3A; Hick’s Point Road; Park Street from Route 3A to the Kingston line; Soule Avenue; and Temple Street from Route 14 to Lincoln Street. Residents will be contacted when the paving begins.
  • Learned that all town employees, boards and committee mem- bers are required to attend a state Ethics Commission training session on Thursday, Sept. 19. There will be two sessions.
  • Approved a one-day liquor license for the Duxbury Rotary Club’s second Seafest on Sept. 21 at the Senior Center from noon to 4 p.m.
  • Announced that the Myles Standish monument on Crescent Street is scheduled to be open Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. The monument is not owned by the town of Duxbury. It is a state reservation that is managed by the Department of Conservation and Recreation. Group tours can be arranged by calling the DCR at 508-208-0675.