by Peter Jakey–Managing Editor
It’s been a busy year at the senior centers in Posen and Onaway.
The taxpayer-supported Presque Isle County Council on Aging (PICCOA) wrapped up two building projects at both facilities and continues to look at ways to enrich the lives of the county’s elderly residents.
In Onaway, there is a new $24,000 metal roof on the building that was completed a month ago. Shutters need a second coat of paint and ceiling tiles in the dining hall are being targeted for replacement.
“We have started receiving bids for driveway repairs,” said co-director Sue Flewelling, who also serves as transportation coordinator.
If the project is not completed before winter, she is hopeful it will be in the spring.
The PICCOA board also is working on upgrades to its restroom facilities to meet the standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 2010.
“We were grandfathered in because they had not changed since the time the buildings were constructed,” said Flewelling.
The other major project this last year was the re-paving of the Posen parking area at a cost of $10,000. That involved complete reconstruction.
“These are things we are beginning to do,” said Flewelling. “We are so grateful for the millage dollars and these are some of the improvements we are making. We know there are things in the kitchens that need to be addressed, but those will be ongoing projects.”
Taxpayers approved a millage extension of a half-mill in August 2015, as well as an additional quarter-of-a-mill to stave off stagnant funding. Ten months before, a transportation millage was given the green light at one-quarter-of-a-mill. It helped prevent kitchen closures and waiting lists for services.
“We got transportation dollars and that freed up other dollars,” said Flewelling. “It allows us to do other things. These are things that need to be done. We are pleased with the way things are progressing forward.”
Congregate and home delivered meals have increased significantly this year.
In September for congregate meals, Onaway served 593 meals and Posen served 429.
Congregate meals are served Sunday through Thursday at both centers.
Home delivered meals are served Monday through Thursday with most clients receiving seven meals per week (four hot meals and three cold/frozen meals).
Home delivered meals for Onaway were 1,066, which consists of one route.
Posen has two home delivered meal routes and the total delivered was 1,938.
“We are very encouraged that the client list for home delivered meals is currently on the rise continuing to prove that there are many more folks that are in need of this service,” said Flewelling.
In-home services is a growing area as well, said Flewelling.
It involves three areas, including homemaker, personal care and respite care.
“Workers go in for two to three hours and sit with someone who is ill or handicapped to allow the caregiver to take a nap, read a book or run some errands,” said Flewelling. “It gives them a break.”
Denise Parrott is the other co-director and works out of the Posen facility.
A portion of the operating millage is allocated to the Rogers City Area Senior & Community Center.