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Area Agency on Aging Seeks Community Input on Funding Priorities

Community input is sought to create senior-friendly communities throughout the Central Coast and ensure that limited federal monies are meeting the priority needs of senior citizens through the work of the Area Agency on Aging.

The Central Coast Commission for Senior Citizens, Area Agency on Aging, announced Jan. 27, 2016, that four public hearings will be held throughout San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties in February 2016 to secure comment from the public.

“With the uncertainty of funding from the federal and state budgets, it is imperative that we hear from senior citizens, caregivers and other interested persons about the priority needs as we attempt to have a senior-friendly community,” announced Jim Talbott, president of the board of directors. “These are very difficult times and we need to be sure we are on the right track.”

“Annually the Area Agency on Aging prepares a Draft Area Plan, which presents a proposed allocation of Older Americans Act monies to address the needs of senior citizens in greatest social and economic need in the two county region,” Talbott said. “This year it is especially important to look at our funding priorities and ensure they help us to maintain a senior friendly community.

All interested persons are encouraged to attend and voice their opinions at the public hearings. The organization wishes to receive community comments regarding the priorities, goals and objectives of its 2015-16 Area Plan.

“The Area Plan expresses the intent of the Area Agency on Aging (AAA) to implement the goals and objectives of the Older Americans Act,” said Barry Marks, Advisory Council chair. “We are responsible for over $2.8 million for supportive, health and nutrition services to assist older persons and caregivers to remain safe and secure in their own homes.”

“We want to hear from the community whether our Plans for the expenditure of these federal monies are properly targeted,” continued Marks. “The basic question is, 'how to allocate the limited federal revenues to maintain a senior friendly community?'"

Public comment on the DRAFT Planning and Service Area Plan can be provided at either a public hearing or in writing to the Area Agency on Aging office by Feb. 12, 2016.

Opinions can also be sent to [email protected].

Public hearings will take place at the following locations:

» Paso Robles: Friday, Feb. 5, 2016, at the Senior Center, 270 Scott Street, at 2 p.m.

» San Luis Obispo: Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016, at the City/County Library, Conference Room, 995 Palm Street Street, at 10 a.m.

» Santa Barbara: Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016, at the L.L. Davis Center, 1232 De La Vina Street, at 1 p.m.

» Santa Maria: Monday, Feb. 8, 2016, at the Area Agency on Aging office, 528 S. Broadway, at 11 a.m.

"The Draft Area Plan has been prepared by the members of the Area Agency on Aging Advisory Council and board of directors to ensure the development of a community based system of social and nutrition services in the two county region," Marks said. "The challenges ahead for the Area Agency on Aging include support of a social service system which strengthens the capacities of older persons in greatest social and economic need within the financial constraints imposed by federal and state governments."

Copies of the Draft Planning and Service Area Plan are available at the local libraries and the Area Agency on Aging office.

Persons needing accommodation must contact the Area Agency on Aging by Feb. 1, 2016. For more information contact Joyce Ellen Lippman, AAA director, at 805.925.9554.

Joyce Ellen Lippman represents the Area Agency on Aging.

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