A local program that helps get senior citizens to out-of-town doctor appointments will get almost $6,000 in county funding, the Barton County Commission decided this week.
The Barton County Retired and Senior Volunteer Program will receive $5,795 in county funding to help offset the costs to volunteers who drive seniors to the appointment.
Donna Baugh, RSVP director told the commissioners that this past year the program had 23 volunteer drivers who arranged 329 trips to Wichita, Salina, Hays and Hutchinson and had about $3,600 in fuel costs they were reimbursed for. The volunteers are not paid for their time or the wear to vehicles, Baugh added.
However, this past year RSVP was given a van that had formerly been owned by a county nursing facility. The van is wheelchair accessible.
It needed significant repairs, to be road worthy, however, Baugh told the commission. So for several months it has been worked on by the Barton Community College automotive program and local donations have covered the cost of the expensive parts. Also, Baugh said, BCC is covering the insurance and maintenance on the van. So the transportation program will be able to use that vehicle for some trips this year.
The increase in fuel costs has continued to impact this important program, Baugh added. “We were not able to provide rides to some,” she commented.
Having the van available will help she said.