HONESDALE – September is National Senior Center Month and on Thursday, the Wayne County Commissioners recognized it during their meeting.
Maggie Kerbs, Honesdale Senior Center manager, highlighted some activities that are going on at the senior centers.
“The home delivered meals have gone up,” she said. “There are 221 packed meals per day going out and 118 hot meals a day.”
She added that the Honesdale center has a new class for jazz dancing and the memoir writing group is growing.
“There's a large Majong group at the Hawley center,” Kerbs stated. “ The bus trips are also very popular. There's a lot that goes on.”
The theme for this year, as designated by the National Institute on Aging, is “Senior Centers-Experts at Living Well.”
Wayne County has senior centers in Honesdale, Hawley and Hamlin.
The proclamation read during the Commissioners' meeting states that the staff at the senior centers “understand the important needs of the county's aging population and the integration of the continually increasing boomer generation and the support provided by the APRISE Program to address the ever-changing Medicare Program.”
It adds that senior centers provide a nutritious meal, a place to gather for connecting friends and sharing life experiences and ensuring that seniors remain to be vibrant members of the community.
There are also health and wellness programs like the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program, 10 Keys and LINK, which “connect older adults and families to vital services through information and referral.”
“I want to thank all who are involved in the Aging Department and the volunteers who come in,” said Commissioner Brian Smith. “There are many different things that senior centers do. We have an increasing population of seniors in Wayne County.
“I encourage people to come out and visit the senior centers, make new friends and have meaningful lives.”
He added senior centers provide an opportunity for seniors to avoid staying home all the time.
“They [staff at the centers] are very helpful to those who need it and it's rewarding for those involved,” Smith stated.
Commissioner Jonathan Fritz added the commissioners are proud to have dedicated staff at the senior centers and in the Aging Department.
Kerbs was also in attendance with Shirley Ostrander and Jim Byrnes, who volunteer at the Honesdale Senior Center.
For more information on programs that are offered at the senior centers, call Pat Perkins or Maggie Kerbs at the Aging Office, (570) 253-4262.
The commissioners approved submitting information for the 904 Performance Grant through the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
Chief Clerk Vicky Botjer said the county gets reimbursed funds from the state based on the amount of recycled materials collected.
“There were 1,376.88 tons of residential and 3,215.71 tons of commercial, for a total of 4,592.59 tons of materials,” Botjer said.
She added it includes the single-stream from Waste Management, but doesn't include County Waste.
Botjer explained County Waste didn't submit any information. They are a private vendor and aren't required to submit information to the county, but it also means the county can't get funds for their materials.
Money that comes back to the county helps to offset costs and some goes to municipalities.
The current grant being submitted is dated as of Dec. 31, 2013.
The Office of Children, Youth and Family (OCYF) submitted its projected numbers for the Needs Based Plan and Budget State for fiscal year 2015-16.
The projected total expenditures is $4,791,486 and the state request is $3,517,315. The county's cost would be $1,274,171, which is about 20 percent of the total.
“The significance of putting in around $4.8 million is so we know we have a 79 percent match for that number from state or federal sources,” said Commissioner Wendall Kay. “They [OCYF] project so the county is always covered in the match.”
He said if the projection isn't set like that, it could potentially cost the county more.
Local share grant
The commissioners also approved a letter of support, resolution and commitment letter for two different local share grant applications.
The first was a letter of support for WEDCO, who are applying for a grant through the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) for a broadband expansion project in southern Wayne County.
The commissioners said that is one of the identified infrastructure concerns in the comprehensive plan.
“This will go a long way to helping residents,” Botjer said.
• The second was a resolution and commitment letter for the Monroe County application for the Stourbridge project.
This is also through DCED and the grant amount is $799,320.
“It covers all the bells and whistles for the incubator space,” Botjer said.
She also said the amount requested will allow the Workforce Alliance to provide assistance to those using the space.
There is also $31,937.19 of in kind for the design.
Three resignations were approved for part time corrections officers who took a job at FCI Canaan. They include:
• Shane Whitehead, effective Sept. 22.
• Tori Sampson and Joseph Siclari, effective Sept. 20.
Three people were also hired. They include:
• Orville Branning as a part time van driver, effective Sept. 29. The salary was set at $10.34 an hour for 21-25 hours a week.
• Nancy Kutch as an aging case aide 2, effective Sept. 29. The salary was set for $21,160.58 for 37.5 hours a week.
• MaryAnn Sherwood, a transfer from Children and Youth Services to Aging as an aging care manager, effective Oct. 20. The salary is staying the same at $34,354.12, for 37.5 hours a week.