Parish to ask state for Meals on Wheels funding

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 11, 2000

VIDALIA, La. — Concordia Parish police jurors voted Monday to ask the state for $4,000 in rural development money to help fund the parish’s Meals on Wheels program.

The program, which is run by the Concordia Council on Aging, delivers 79 hot meals a day to elderly parish residents, said council Executive Director Dorothy McDonald.

Earlier this year, the council was notified that the federal government has cut its funding by $30,000 for the 2000-01 fiscal year, making it difficult to maintain programs like Meals on Wheels.

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&uot;But with this ($4,000), we’ll be able to expand to include the 10 people who are now on our waiting list,&uot; McDonald said.

The jury was going to apply to the Governor’s Office of Rural Development for a $100,000 grant to purchase a tractor boom for public works projects.

Now, it will ask for only $96,000 for that purpose, requesting that the remaining $4,000 be allocated to the Council on Aging, said Robbie Shirley, the jury’s secretary-treasurer.

The Town of Vidalia has been contacted about allocating some of its rural development funds to the program, but the Board of Aldermen has not yet voted on the matter, said Town Clerk Vicki Byrnes.

Ferriday Town Clerk Charles Lincecum said that, to his knowledge, town’s officials have not yet been contacted.

Meanwhile, the Council on Aging is working efficiently to provide as many services as possible even with reduced funding, McDonald said.

For example, the council is still running three vans in Vidalia and Ferriday to provide transportation for the elderly and disabled despite funding concerns. But a fourth van serving Monterey had to be discontinued due to a low number of passengers.

&uot;We’ll just do it as long as we can,&uot; she said.

In its Monday meeting, the jury also voted to:

–Allocate to the parish’s recycling program a $1,000 check the jury received as part of Wal-Mart’s American Hometown Leadership program.

–Approve occupational licenses for Bio-Solutions International and D&M Storage near Ferriday.

–Appoint Obye Jo Simmons and William Coleman to the Highway 65 Commission.

–Install a culvert on Jerry Lee Lewis Drive in Ferriday to replace a deteriorating bridge near Huntington School.

–Appoint Harry Greer to the board of Sewage District No. 1.