HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WOWK) – Tens of thousands of meals are served to senior citizens in the Cabell County area, and they are dependent upon those meals being delivered to them, and this year a line in the state budget was secured so those meals can arrive hot and on time.
The Cabell County Community Services Organization (CCCSO) currently has four vehicles (2014 and 2015 F-150, 2009 Ford Ranger, and 2007 Chevy Colorado) for its five routes to deliver meals to its seniors, but a couple of them are giving the executive director some concerns.
“The 2007 Colorado we worry about it every day, it’s making noise, it’s in bad shape,” said Charles Holley, executive director of the CCCSO.
Holley also said repairing the vehicles just seems like a waste of money.“We just had to replace the transmission in the [2009 Ford] Ranger. The bill was for $4,000 which is more than the vehicle is worth”.
One Cabell County Delegate said its important his district has properly running vehicles for its seniors.
“In Cabell County in the last five years we went from 55,000 meals served to 75,000 meals served, so the need is continuing to get greater,” said Del. Daniel Linville (R-Cabell County).
This legislative session $1 million was appropriated to the Bureau of Senior Services, and Linville said the money will be allocated to senior centers who are in need of new vehicles.
“The majority of their (senior centers) vehicles were purchased 10 to 15 years ago, and in many cases, they have 300 to 400,000 miles on them”.
Linville also added that it was about, “12 to 15 years ago the last time the state was able to provide funding” for vehicle replacement.
With the possibility of 55 counties in need of help, the Bureau of Senior Services is requesting matching funds for vehicle purchases, and Holley hopes the county commission will be able to help CCCSO out again.
The executive director said the county has been an excellent partner with CCCSO, and the commission recently assisted them with the future purchase of a new vehicle, so they will have five vehicles for all five routes.
However, Holley wouldn’t mind one more since two of the current vehicles have about out-lived their usefulness.
“We could use a new vehicle right now. In fact next week we are going to be putting the [2007 Chevy] Colorado in the shop,” said Holley.
He also added that the price of a new vehicle ranges between $30,000 (Subaru) to 50,000 (Hot/Cold Truck), and the matching funds will be between $5,000 (Subaru) to $10,000 (Truck).
Holley said they will probably pursue a Subaru because it is cheaper and has better miles per gallon.
Whatever the case is Linville said he will be there to offer support, so the seniors in his district are able to get a hot meal on time.
“I have already asked to be placed on the county commission meeting for the 12th, pursuant to us winning some of the grants, to put forward the matching amount,” said Linville.
The Bureau of Senior Services said they will be sending out applications to senior centers sometime next week.