COA to receive more funds for meals


REED CITY — When Osceola County Commission on Aging Director Scott Schryer received a call about extra funding available for congregate meals, he could not decline.

Schryer asked County Commissioners during their Committee of the Whole meeting July 18 to accept $4,500 in funding from the Older Americans Act through the Area Agency on Aging of West Michigan.

“It will be for congregate food, which we’re overspent pretty drastically this year already,” he said. “By accepting the funds, which we’ve already spent, it’s guaranteed to be utilized.”

Commissioners approved Schryer’s request. The funds will help pay for meals at the congregate meal sites throughout the county.

Schryer also asked the board to approve the annual AAAWM Implementation Plan.

“(The AAAWM) board comes together and sets goals and plans for the next year,” he said. “We’re right in line with our goals and plans and with what they show for programs for the most part.”

In other action from Tuesday’s meeting, commissioners approved EMS Director Jeremy Beebe’s request to seek grant funds from the United States Department of Agriculture to remount an ambulance.

“I came a month ago to ask for grant funds for rescue task force equipment through the USDA, and in that process, they said they had additional grant funds available for projects,” he said. “I’m estimating the remount project to be $140,000. The USDA grant would be up to 35 percent of that amount, $50,000.”

If the grant is awarded, Beebe said they would have one year to spend the funds.

“Bidding and spec’ing out an ambulance for remount takes time,” he said. “Even if we start the process today, it wouldn’t be until 2018 that we get started.”

County Coordinator Sue Vander Pol and commissioners discussed upcoming work on the 2018 budget. One important item, she said, is to set non-union and elected officials’ salaries so departments can begin their budgets.

Commissioners agreed to no more than a 2 percent increase in wages for those individuals.

County commissioners also approved the following items at Tuesday’s Committee of the Whole meeting:

• Appointing Aaron Mitchell to the Osceola County Planning Commission representing small business to a term expiring in 2020;

• Appointing Commissioner Jack Nehmer and Martin Nieman to the Osceola County Land Bank Authority;

• A Public Act 116 (child care organizations) application; and

• The local Department of Health and Human Services Board spending $750 of its budgeted funding to send youth to Rose Lake Youth Camp.

Items requiring action by the Committee of the Whole were later approved by county commissioners at their board meeting.

The next Osceola County Committee of the Whole meeting is set for 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 1, at the Osceola County Courthouse.