The St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners has endorsed submission of the Area Agency on Aging (AAA) FY 2014-2016 Multi-Year Plan to the Michigan Commission on Services to the Aging for final review and approval.
The action came Tuesday (June 18) following a presentation by Laura Sutter, AAA Coordinator with the Branch-St. Joseph Area Agency on Aging (IIIC) housed with the Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency office in Coldwater. AAA provides leadership and advocacy regarding issues affecting seniors and their families. It also provides funding for a network of in-home and community support services. Persons aged 60 and older are eligible to receive Older Americans Act and Older Michiganians Act services regardless of their income or assets, although emphasis is placed on helping older adults who have the greatest economic or social need.
In other business, the board: approved a Community Corrections Plan and Application for Fiscal Year 2014 after hearing from District Judge Jeff Middleton, chairman of the St. Joseph County Community Corrections Advisory Board approved an out-of-state travel request from Central Dispatch to allow Director Jon Uribe and Deputy Director Gary LeTourneau to attend a user training conference in Newark, Ohio September 9-11, hosted by Alert PSS which has been contracted to upgrade the CAD, RMS and Mobile computer systems and approved a request to fill an open secretary position in the Friend of the Court office.
Three new appointments to the St. Joseph County Commission on Aging Board will likely be made before the end of the month.
Members of the St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners last week were advised that Jean Skalski of Three Rivers, Beverly Burnham of Centreville and Lillian Carter of Constantine have requested their appointments to the board not be renewed. Their terms are due to expire at the end of the month.
Meanwhile, board members Allen Balog of Three Rivers, and Sturgis residents Barbara Fisher and Deborah Leyes, are asking to be re-appointed to new terms. Their current terms also expire June 30.
County commissioners are expected to interview applicants and eventually make a decision on choosing three new COA board members.
The Branch-St. Joseph Area Agency on Aging is unveiling its once-every-three-years survey seeking input from residents in Branch and St. Joseph counties, and local service providers and key leaders.
Laura Sutter, agency coordinator, said the agency prepares a multi-year area plan, and input received from the survey helps spell out the needs and priorities of older adults, and targets funding according to those priorities.
The agency is one of 16 in Michigan and is responsible for administering federal and state funding, identifying needs, and providing a comprehensive array of services and supports to assist older adults living in Branch and St. Joseph counties.
A link to the survey may be found through the health department’s website: bhsj.org.
The questionnaire takes less than 10 minutes to complete and is open through Friday.
Two Sturgis residents asked members of the St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners if they would be willing to meet one-on-one to discuss plans for a proposed senior center in Sturgis.
Lois Ware and Bob Holt said they weren’t happy with the lack of answers during past meetings with representatives from the county’s Commission on Aging. They said the proposal is a major expense of taxpayer money and county leaders should make themselves available to field questions and take the time to meet with their constituents.
Board chairman John Dobberteen, whose jurisdiction includes the city of Sturgis, said the issue is in the hands of the COA and its officials are more at liberty to discuss the concept.
Ware and Holt said they object to the taxpayer money that could be spent to build a senior center in Sturgis. They suggested the money be spent to refurbish the current facility, the John H. Cassault Center on North Jefferson Street.
Officials from the city of Sturgis have approved a letter of intent with St. Joseph County’s Board of Commissioners regarding the development of a senior center.
The proposed center is slated to be built on property adjacent to the Doyle Community Center and would be leased to the county for a token $1 annually.
County Commission members over the past year have eyed a senior center in Sturgis to complement the Commission on Aging senior center already in place in Three Rivers.
The letter of intent was OK’d by Sturgis officials at a city commission meeting last week
State Rep. Matt Lori on Friday is sponsoring coffee hours in Dowagiac.
Lori, a Constantine-area resident, will meet with residents at the Cass County Council on Aging in Front Street Crossing, 227 S. Front St. in Dowagiac from 9:30 to 11 a.m.
Lori said the venue is an informal setting where he can provide a short legislative update and listen to concerns and ideas from constituents.