COMMISSION ON AGING MEETING
January 13, 2021 9:00 A.M.
9:01am call to order via Zoom Conference
Share recording with viewers:
https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/vAzi_mSGP8Xix0nk5DZ5Yr4n7nALLeyIKhW3DbYM-TQSutfDIGksDziNULbnZ4jD.l0vywTBRfn57zXTF Passcode: wsGP?3Q%
Present: COA: Mary Dale Lancaster, Sarah Atwood, Ingrid Heller, Karen de Friesse, Garner Lester, Kathy Brandt, Hilda Rhodes, Sarah Cummings, Randi Hutton, Jean Rexford, and George Cohen.
Town employees: Angelica Fontanez, Julia Pemberton, Lucy Milano (student intern), Alice Smith, Michelle Stillman
Members of the public: Ed Sherrick and Peggy Zamore
Minutes: Lucy Milano
1) Approval of December Minutes: Karen de Friesse and Ingrid Heller
2) Public Comment: None
3) Administrator Report (Michelle Stillman): Michelle explained that Zoom classes are still happening and that she plans to start Tai Chi next week. She also plans to start ukulele again because it was popular last year. Michelle hopes that when the new Senior Program Coordinator starts working, there will be new Zoom classes available. Michelle explained that the income from participants is not a lot and that some participants wait until the end of the month to pay. She is emailing and calling the participants that have not paid. Mary Dale Lancaster asked Michelle if PayPal has been successful and Michelle responded that she has not started it yet and plans on doing that in February.
4) Director of Social Services Report (Angelica Fontanez): Angelica said that the food pantry has been consistent. She also said that the oil and fuel bills have been high because she is running into many problems with the energy assistance program from the state. She helped about fifteen families with money for energy and it has been about $5,200 in total. She mentioned that donations have been very generous. Monetary donations equaled $4,925 and PayPal equaled $6,945. She also received a grant of $6,000 to be used for the food pantry and a generous donation from Eastward Christian Chapel Church of $7,000 which is allocated for the Salvation Army. Angelica also mentioned that she will be offering the position to the candidate for the Senior Program Coordinator job today if the letter is approved. Angelica discussed that she will be helping with outreach for the COVID-19 vaccine and explained her experience registering for the vaccine.
5) First Selectman (Julia Pemberton): Julia discussed the COVID-19 vaccine and said that phase 1B should start on January 18th. The town will be sending out an email with a link to the town’s website (https://townofreddingct.org/) where people can pre-register for the vaccine. From that pre-registration, residents will be sorted by age. People 75 years and older will be first, but people 65 years and older are also encouraged to pre-register. By pre-registering with the town, the Public Health Department will be able to reach out to the seniors of Redding and assist them with registering for an appointment to receive the vaccine. People can also go to the Vaccine Administration Management System using this link https://vams.cdc.gov/vaccineportal/s/pre-registration to register for the vaccine, if they qualify.
The RVNA website https://rvnahealth.org/services/be-well/covid-19-vaccines/ has more information. There will be instructions on the town’s website about how to register for the vaccine. Jean Rexford asked if volunteers were needed to help administer the vaccine and Julia Pemberton responded that the town has a large list of volunteers to help with the vaccine but if someone wants to sign up to volunteer they can contact Doug Hartline at firstname.lastname@example.org and let him know what tasks they can do.
Julia also discussed that there is a way to have a private entrance into the Social Services office. She explained that Angelica would move into a new office and the double doors from the patio could become an entrance. Angelica raised concern about her clients coming in that way because they would have to walk through the art room, which classes are held in. Mary Dale Lancaster suggested that the proposed project may need further thought and discussion.
Julia also talked about the Georgetown Project. She said that the town should receive the title to the facility around February 16th. She also said that the Georgetown Bible Church would be a very important for the town to purchase or obtain. In addition, Julia said that she applied for a $500,000 grant for Main Street.
6) Chair’s Report (Mary Dale Lancaster): Mary Dale read through Doug Hartline’s memo to allow for members to ask any questions they had. Mary Dale stressed the importance of being proactive and registering for the vaccine. MDL also discussed scams related to the vaccine and explained that a way to tell if it is a scam is if you are asked for your Social Security number or a form of payment, such as a credit card number. Mary Dale explained that COA is going to put a letter in the Heritage Center Blast with the results from the survey and allow for people who did not get to complete the survey to drop off their answers at the Heritage Center or the Mark Twain Library.
7) Old Business: None
8) New Business: None
Meeting adjourned at 9:57am. Next meeting will be held on Wednesday, February 10, 2021.