Commissioners OK local group's deferred payment


POSTED: Monday, April 29, 2013 - 4:35pm

UPDATED: Monday, April 29, 2013 - 8:20pm

Precautionary step taken to ensure seniors have access to meal programs

The County Commissioners have taken a step to protect our most vulnerable population. The Area Agency on Aging, Rio Grande, has been granted permission to delay their payment of $173,000 to El Paso County. So that they may continue serving meals to the thousands of El Pasoans who struggle everyday to prepare meals for themselves.

The Area Agency on Aging says this is just a precautionary measure and they can afford to pay for the month of May. However, they needed to take this step just in case the Federal monies from the "Older Americans Act" does not come through in May.

The agency has braced for the 5-percent cut to their budget. They also claim this delay has created a waiting list of about 200 senior citizens.

"But really, bottom line there is never enough money to go around for all of the needs that we have here in El Paso County. Our area region actually serves a six-county region, El Paso County obviously being the largest in population. But the other five counties that we serve, we reach all the way Presidio and Booster County so we have clients there as well," Yvette Lugo, Director of the Area Agency on Aging told us.

The Agency serves five counties, El Paso being the largest. They also provide services other than 'Meals on Wheels' such as serving food at all of their 21 local senior centers in the county. They serve approximately 2,600 people.

The Agency will present an updated report in May on their funding and their budget.

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