Their joint mission is to line up ways to help blind Floridians manage their disability from infancy to old age. The division and its outsourced vendors train blind people for everyday tasks from using a cane to pouring water without spilling. The division also operates a program to help blind people find jobs.
During the 2012 legislative session the division asked for and received more than $540,000 in additional money to provide care for 201 blind babies on a state waiting list. But the vendors already received funding from nonprofit groups to cover the expenses associated with 172 of the same babies, documents show.
This is the first lighthouse in Massachusetts that has been offered for sale to a private party, said GSA Branch Chief Barbara J. Salfity. “We’re very excited to find a steward and we’re looking forward to working with him,” she said.
Although the law requires state workers to monitor all 16 providers through yearly unscheduled visits, the state only visited one vendor last year, documents show. Hildreth said the agency monitors the vendors by phone.
North Falmouth resident George R. Hampson visited the lighthouse about eight years ago, and said it is a bit harrowing to get on. “We hooked our ladder onto what was left of the original ladder and climbed up,” he said. “It’s old and when you go aboard you soon realize that instead of being completely plumb, it’s tilted a little bit.”
The hearing was part of the permitting process of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, which must approve the conversion of the lighthouse into a residence by granting a Chapter 91 license, said spokesman Edmund Coletta. Issues with the application include that there is no fresh water source, no wastewater disposal, no dock to easily access the lighthouse, and asbestos in the building.