Senior programs sought in Troy
Posted: Wednesday, October 22, 2008 10:39 pm
By DONNA RYDER
Messenger Associate Editor
Troy’s mayor and board of aldermen are considering starting a regular program for senior citizens in the town.
Melinda Underwood appeared before the board Monday night to share her thoughts on the program and what could be done.
Ms. Underwood lives in Troy, grew up in Trimble and spent four years in the Air Force before earning her degree in social work. She has been working with the elderly for three years in a four- or five-county area.
She said she depends on senior centers in the towns where she works for resources. Many of her clients are referred to these senior centers in order to get them involved and active.
“There’s lots of outreach which can be done,” said Ms. Underwood, noting one is “meals on wheels.”
She added the town could also start a volunteer program to visit homebound senior citizens.
Ms. Underwood suggested the program could begin two or three days a week, with the center serving coffee and donuts and asking seniors what they would be interested in.
“I see the big picture. … There are so many things we can do for those at home and at the center,” she said. Among them are games, puzzles, arts and crafts, blood pressure checks, flu shot clinics and income tax form help.
“I know a lot of resources from working with seniors,” she said, adding Margaret Cook with the Obion County Senior Citizens Center has offered to help get the program started.
Ms. Underwood said she wants to see Troy able to offer this to their citizens as other towns do. “I can do it now because I work only part-time,” she told the board.
She said she would like to oversee the program, starting out small and building on it. “I think it would go over really well,” she said, saying the start up costs would be relatively low.
When asked by alderman Deanna Chappell if she would be volunteering or would want to be paid, Ms. Underwood replied she would want to be paid. She said she’s never done anything like this before but, with her education and experience, she’d like the opportunity to do it.
Mrs. Chappell said she thinks since any funding would come out of the recreation fund, then the recreation committee should be able to discuss it. Alderman Jess Whitesides asked Ms. Underwood to come up with a budget for one complete day, including what she would ask for her time and what supplies would be needed for the center. She is to submit the budget for
consideration at the Nov. 3 meeting.
In other business, the board:
• Heard from Bill Sanderson that, if elected, he will work with the town. He congratulated the board on being financially sound and having nice facilities.
• Learned from county commissioner Danny Jowers that he was unaware Troy was not represented on the county’s industrial board until Monday morning when the matter was brought up at the commission meeting. He said the commission is working to rectify the situation.
• Renewed CDs in the recreation, gas and sewer funds. The board voted to cash in a solid waste CD to pay back the general fund $10,000. The money was borrowed when the solid waste checking account fund was low.
• Heard from Mayor Jimmie Hart that the ethanol plant near Obion was to begin production Tuesday. He said the contract for the discharging of cooling tower water into the sewer’s sewer system was been signed.
• Read a thank-you note from Betty Prather for the town’s lowering the natural gas rates and for picking up the limbs in a timely manner.
• Agreed to trade in the backhoe, adding an extend-a-hoe and four-wheel drive. A new backhoe like the town already has is $58,000. The company will give the town $32,000 for its used unit. The town will pay $3,290 for the extend-a-hoe and $1,800 for the four-wheel drive.
• Learned the town has once again been the victim of lightning damage. This time it hit the fire department, affecting some of the computers at City Hall and the police station as well. It hit the transfer switch for the generator and the new fire alarm system. One HAM radio was damaged. It was the one used to set off the fire alarm remotely, fire chief Mark Watson said. The total damage could range from $15,000-$20,000. The town has insurance.
• Decided to replace the town’s brush truck, which is more than 30 years old. The board agreed to purchase a used one for $13,500.
• Voted to change the town’s meeting time from 7:30 p.m. until 6 p.m. The change will begin with the Nov. 3 meeting and will be re-evaluated after Daylight Saving Time ends.
• Learned the town has been shorted $5,840 by Charter Communications over the past six years. Charter collects a 5 percent franchise fee but apparently had not been sending the full amount to the town. Hart said he was told by the company who performed the recent audit that Charter also short-changed other towns. The company that performed the audit charged a 50 percent collection fee, so the town will receive $2,920.
• Learned the fire department will host a county-wide fire department training session Monday.
• Was informed the spec building will be promoted by the Tennessee Valley Authority.
Associate Editor Donna Ryder can be contacted by e-mail at email@example.com.