Commission on Aging Committee Meeting
May 13, 2020
Users/marydalelancaster/Documents/Zoom/2020-05-13 09.04.31 Redding COA 73815672567
Meeting commenced: 9:00 a.m.
Present: Mary Dale Lancaster, Chairwoman; Randi Hutton; Ingrid Heller; Sarah Atwood; Janet Metzger; Hilda Rhodes; George Cohen; Jean Rexford; Kathleen Brandt
Town employees: Angelica Fontanez; Michelle Stillman; Ruth Moran; Alice Smith (Administrative Assistant to First Selectman)
Members of the Public: Morna Crites-Moore
1) Approval of March 2020 Minutes: Motion made by Janet Metzger, seconded by Sarah Atwood. Approved.
Approval of April 2020 Minutes: Motion by Hilda Rhodes, seconded by Sarah Atwood. Approved.
2) Report of Heritage Center Director, Ruth Moran: for details, see Ruth’s report. Highlights: Zoom classes held regularly since building was shut-down, and the number of online offerings are increasing. Instructors are getting paid by through the Heritage Center and have not received regular payments from the town. Participant payment is intermittent. Staff is also working hard on the monthly Blast, on calling seniors living alone and sending cards (in conjunction with Parks and Rec). Commendations by Mary Dale on the Blast which has been very uplifting. Yoga for the Rest of Us, taught gratis by Jean Rexford, has been happening six days a week, very highly attended.
3) Report of Social Services Director, Angelica Fontanez: See printed report for more specific details. Highlights: Very busy, food pantry is very active with both deliveries to needy families and food coming in. Having only one employee in the building at a time makes management of this difficult. Bi-monthly delivery of fresh vegetables was not completed this past Saturday because the food delivery truck delivery issues. Go-Fund-Me raised $2500 but the woman who set it is unsure how to transfer the funds to the town and the funds will all be returned to the donors if they doesn’t transfer in the next 2 days. Alice Smith will speak to Steve in finance today and will get it done immediately. Angelica is working with United Way to help 27 families who need cash assistance. Angelica transferred $20K to United Way recently which will be put in a United Way Master Card program for the families to use to pay bills, etc. Angelica makes the decision on how they can use these funds. There has been a tremendous increase in Mental Health calls, see Angelica’s report for details.
1) Since Angelica submitted her last report to the Finance Committee (in January) the pandemic has caused a significant increase in need. All $30,500 at that time has been spent, and there is a $2,500 deficit. $5,055 of the energy account has been used as well. The allocated Social Services budget has been completely spent – all monies now are from the Trust and Agency Fund (to which all donations are now put).
2) Per Mary Dale, the committee would like to see those numbers.
4) Old business: 1) Dogs at the Center: There is no signage, no baggies, dog excrement everywhere. We would like to set up signs reminding walkers that all dogs must be leashed, dispenser with poop bags and a garbage can. MD will bring this up with Julia. 2) Open positions on COA- we have several substitute positions with no current nominees. All regular positions can be filled with current members. Please communicate suggestions privately to MD. 3)Tax Benefits for Seniors need to be published promptly before the deadline that is coming up very soon. The Blast for May is already out. Alice noted that the town has the info on the website and uses Twitter, Instagram and several other modern modalities to give out the information. 4) Motion for approval of MD’s letter to Board of Selectman re: the budget: Motion approved – George Cohen, seconded by Sarah Atwood, all agreed.
5) Meeting adjourned at 9:40 a.m.