Senior program might receive grant funding

By Victoria Metcalf

Special to Plumas News

In an effort to backfill an impacted senior program in Plumas County, and fund needed work at the Plumas-Sierra Fairgrounds, the Board of Supervisors approved a grant application in a public hearing Tuesday, Sept. 15.

County Administrator Gabriel Hydrick was before the board requesting approval on a grant application for $101,532. If received, the majority of the grant, $81,532, would go to augment the Senior Nutrition program. COVID-19 has heavily impacted that program, according to Hydrick.

Proposed funding could alleviate an added drain to the county’s general fund, Hydrick explained.

The remaining funding is earmarked for needed repairs to Serpilio Hall at the fairgrounds. These repairs include patching the roof and fixing the flooring. Hydrick said fairgrounds manager John Steffanic is getting bids for both jobs.

Hydrick said that in the event of expanded hospital needs centered around COVID-19, and for the foreseeable need of the homeless population, especially veterans, the hall needs to be “safe, sanitary and dry.”

Hydrick told supervisors that the Serpilio Hall was built in 1961 and hadn’t been improved since then. Supervisor Lori Simpson quickly pointed out that Serpilio Hall has seen improvements since ’61. Improvements to the building were part of a grant focused on indoor recreation.

Simpson added that she didn’t see COVID-19 creating a need for the hall usage. “Honestly, I don’t see it.”

Hydrick said plans are part of being prepared for emergency situations. The deadline for the grant application is Sept. 21. The grant is from Community Development Block Grant-CV1 program.

Senior Nutrition

Following the meeting, Plumas Public Health Director Andrew Woodruff, said that the “Senior Nutrition program has been very impacted by COVID.”

“Early on we had to eliminate congregate meals and deliver meals to all our clients instead,” Woodruff explained.

There was also a marked increase in meal requests by vulnerable seniors enrolled in the program, he said. This occurred because many seniors wanted to reduce their risk of receiving COVID-19.

 “I believe that we have increased the number of meals delivered by three fold,” Woodruff said.

 The Senior Nutrition program, headed the John Rix, is under the health department’s umbrella of services.

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