Senior Center helps in time of need

The warnings before Superstorm Sandy helped the Barbour County Senior Center to deliver shelf stable boxes of food to seniors in the county prior to the storm, director Brenda Wilmoth told Barbour County commissioners during her report at their Wednesday meeting.

She said that every winter the Senior Center staff tries to send out three to five boxes of shelf stable meals in case of potential bad weather.

“It just so happened that the Friday before Superstorm Sandy, I had got a delivery of those meals,” Wilmoth said. “It just worked out that way.”

She also said that the Senior Center lost $3,352 in food from the storm, but will be reimbursed by the West Virginia Bureau of Senior Services for the $2,240 in lost food from derecho in June. Wilmoth didn’t say if she would be able to get reimbursements from Superstorm Sandy food losses.

The storm information was only part of her report to commissioners. Wilmoth also talked about the Senior Center’s figures for 2012.

She said that out of the eight satellite centers, aside from the main Philippi location of the Senior Center, there are 85 employees. Satellite centers are located in Union, Galloway, Mount Liberty, Tacy, Nestorville, Brushy Fork and Arden.

Staff members helped 111 clients who were on in-home service programs, receiving personal care or housekeeping assistance. In the past year, 67,752 meals were delivered to the homes of Senior Center clients, 57,000 hours of in-home service were worked and 27,126 transit rides were made with the help of 11 vans.

“I feel like the services we’re providing to the residents of the county are valuable,” Wilmoth said. “We’re lucky to have our transit here in Barbour County.”

Barbour County has one of West Virginia’s 18 transit systems that are part of 33 counties, Wilmoth said. The transit system takes seniors grocery shopping and even transports mothers and their children to doctor’s appointments. There was an issue with where to park the 11 vans, but Wilmoth said a new building is being constructed for the transit system in Mansfield.

The building is 68,000 square feet and has an expected completion date set for the end of April. Offices will be reserved in 1,600 square feet of the building, and the other 5,200 square feet will be garage space, allowing room to park all the vans.

On the topic of construction, Wilmoth also said a new roof was installed on the front part of the Belington Senior Center after a donation from the West Virginia Bureau of Senior Services for $6,000.