New Granville Senior Shuttle arrives and goes right to work
It is a link to the outside for many and it has returned to Granville – the Granville Senior Shuttle has landed.
With new license plates attached, the van and its longtime driver Loretta Moore began making rounds Wednesday.
“It’s really very nice. People just love it,” Moore said.
Village Mayor Jay Niles quipped that the shuttle was in ‘stealth’ mode until the signs were affixed to the van later in the week, but the new 2009 Dodge Grand Caravan van had already gone to work.
“It will be the same service, we draw people from within the school district,” Niles said. The program was important not just because seniors needed to get out to medical appointments, the grocery store, the drug store and other locations in town, but the social aspect of the service could not be discounted, Niles said
“That is an important part of it, a nice feature of it,” he said.
The Granville Senior Shuttle begins with former Granville Town Supervisor John Cosey.
“It makes you feel good to be a part of it,” Cosey said as he got his first look at the shuttle Friday afternoon. “I guess I accomplished something; it took a while, but I guess all good things come slow.”
Cosey sought, and secured, $14,000 in funding to keep the shuttle running and in his final year in office landed the $30,000 grant that purchased the new shuttle.
Both grants came from the office of Sen. Betty Little, the first as a member line item, the second through the Office of the Aging ‘to expand senior services.’
The grant allowed the purchase of the van on state contract; saving thousands of dollars in the cost of the van itself. The remainder of the funds from the grant has been directed towards operational costs.
Niles said the town and village have each contributed $2,500 toward operation of the shuttle and the committee will need to raise the rest, he said.
With the $5,000 in contributions between the town and village, Niles said it had been estimated the program should need to fundraise about $6,000 each year to keep the program operational.
“We have enough (money) for some operation, but we’ll need to get a fund going,” Niles said.
Cosey, along with village trustee Gordon ‘Gordie’ Smith, Ecumenical Council representative Rev. Jim Peterson, Mettowee Valley Senior Citizens President Pat Oathout now form the board in charge of monitoring the budget, running and finding continued funding for the senior shuttle program.
Niles said the village acts as a ‘facilitator’ between state organizations and the Granville Senior Shuttle program.
They are the mailing address, a point of contact for the funding that was permitted to make state contract purchases.
Now that the van has arrived and gone to work, Niles said the village would perform basic tasks on the van, maintenance such as oil changes and gassing it up, as well as record keeping for usage.
Moore will be a part time hourly village employee, paid for from the shuttle fund. As a part time hourly employee, Niles said Moore would not be eligible for health benefits. Other than the contribution, the shuttle program will not cost the village anything, Niles said.
The annual cost of the program has been estimated at $11,000 per year, Niles said.
“It was the state-provided funds, the ones that purchased the van, that made the difference,” Niles said.
The village has added a rider onto the village insurance policy that covers every other piece of village equipment to cover insurance needs for the service.
When Moore is not available, out sick or on vacation, Niles said a stable of substitute drivers is being gathered together including Granville Supervisor Rodger Hurley, Bud Davies, Jake Evans, himself and a few others.
Niles said Moore had given him some advice for being behind the wheel of the shuttle, “I’ve been advised to keep a list, so I can keep track of everybody,” he said.
The seven-passenger van was quite nice, Niles said, with running boards to help the seniors entering and exiting the van.
The one thing it does not have, he said, is a GPS unit.
“Maybe someone would donate one, that way, just in case if one of the volunteer drivers gets lost…” he said.
Need a senior shuttle ride? If you a senior citizen and are you from anywhere within the Granville School District’s geographic boundaries, then call XXX-XXXX. Speak with the driver, Loretta Moore, and schedule a pick up on any one of the shuttle’s operating days: Monday, Wednesday or Friday. The shuttle operates between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
For anyone seeking to make a contribution to the Granville Senior Shuttle, contact any member of the Mettowee Valley Ecumenical Council: Rev. Jim Peterson, 642-2245; Rev. Jerry McKinney, 642-3871 or Father Tom Zelker, 642-1262.