The county began the program in 2008 when it accepted a $325,000 federal grant and matched it. The funds are used for vouchers for disabled seniors ages 60 and older who don’t live near a Cobb Community Transit bus route.
The grant program is separate from the one used by people who live within three quarters of a mile of a CCT bus route. Those residents have access to CCT transportation through a different avenue, said Laraine Vance, planning division manager with the Cobb Department of Transportation.
The program whose funds were approved Tuesday issues vouchers to qualifying Cobb County seniors.
“The client pays $10 to get $100 worth of vouchers,” Vance said. “So for every $100, that is $90 left. And then that cost that they spend, 50 percent of that is paid for by the county, and 50 percent is paid for by the federal government,” she said.
At any given time, about 200 seniors use the program, she said.
“You bring people into the program, and they leave for one reason or another — some of them pass away, some of them move out of the area — so it’s a constant in flow and outflow of people,” Vance said.
Helping seniors with mobility issues
Cobb Board of Commissioners Chairman Tim Lee said he believes the expense is worth it.
“The senior community is one that continues to grow as we age in place in Cobb County,” Lee said. “It’s a lifestyle and a responsibility for us, I think, for us to help assist seniors with their mobility issues, and I think this is a less expensive way than for us to put a bus system throughout the entire county. Being able to provide shut-in seniors the transportation needs they have for medical and life necessities is a responsibility that is important to support.”
New communications manager
In other business, the board hired Ann Flynn as the new emergency communications manager, the person in charge of managing the county’s 911 system. Flynn has served as the interim manager of the program since the February retirement of former manager Tony Wheeler. She will be paid a salary of $97,145.
The board also reappointed Rainia Washington to the Post 3 seat on the Civil Service Board, James Tallman to the Post 1 seat on the Community Services Board, Tori Steele to the Post 4 seat on the Family and Children Services Board, Alice Summerour to the Post 5 seat on the Cobb Housing Authority and Bill Hilley to the Post 4 seat on the Property Advisory Commission.
The board also appointed Marian Kim to the Post 5 seat and Erin Boxt to the Post 6 seat on the Community Relations Council, replacing Steven Oweida and Amjad Tafique, respectively.