By MARY grzebieniak
NEW CASTLE, Pa.
A program to help senior citizens remain independent by providing them rides to grocery stores will continue throughout 2012.
Commissioners approved contributing $2,275 toward the local co-payment for the Senior Citizen Nutritional Shopping Program at their Tuesday meeting.
Although the commissioners’ donation is down from about $5,000 they contributed this year, Angela Elias, director of transportation programs at the Lawrence County Community Action Partnership, said Shenango Township has made donations to make up the difference.
An additional part of the local share is a $1-per-ride cost by the users, which amounts to about $1,625 annually. These combine to make up the local contribution of 15 percent. Eighty-five percent of the program, or $26,000, is provided by Pennsylvania Lottery proceeds, she said.
Drivers will assist those needing help from their door to the van and will also help carry groceries. They cannot enter homes, however, Elias said.
In addition to the shopping program, LCAP has other transportation programs for senior citizens who are eligible upon reaching age 65, regardless of income, Elias said.
She said rides to medical appointments, even in Pittsburgh, are available. For information, call 724-652-5588. Gift certificates for the $1 ride cost are also available by calling the same number.
Also, Commissioner Dan Vogler said he attended a meeting of the Pennsylvania Gaming Commission while he was in Harrisburg last week for the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania and spoke briefly to two commission members before the meeting.
He said he hopes to see American Harness Tracks LLC file an application for a gaming license by the beginning of 2012.
He said that once the application is filed, the gaming commission will have another public hearing in Lawrence County before deciding on the license.
The gaming license is the last hurdle before the long-awaited harness racing/casino complex could become a reality.
Just weeks ago, operators received final approval of their harness-racing license.