Bus service for seniors was main city council item

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 3/3/98.

The subject of establishing a local bus service was brought before the Paynesville City Council on Wednesday.

Janell Hoffman, senior center director, informed the council she submitted a grant application to the Central Minnesota Initiative Fund asking for assistance in setting up a local bus service to aid area residents.

Hoffman told the council the Paynesville Area Health Care System was very supportive of the project. They would be providing the vehicle and driver. The senior center would need to cover the expenses of the project. The hospital already provides free transportation to the senior center once a week for meals.

ďThe bus service would not be just for Paynesville residents but for residents of Hawick, Regal, and Lake Henry in need of rides to Paynesville,Ē Hoffman said. ďWe hope to be able to serve a 10-mile radius around Paynesville.Ē

Hoffman told the council she receives phone calls weekly inquiring about rides for senior citizens. The calls range from nonlocal children of senior citizens, to neighbors of seniors, to seniors themselves. ďIt is our intention this be an ongoing service. Once people are informed about this service, they will take advantage of it,Ē Hoffman said.

The council said they would support such an endeavor but not until they could see some more data to justify the expenditure.

The senior center is contributing $2,500 to get the project initiated. In the grant application, Hoffman asked for $14,000. She feels the grant money will help cover the first year of the project.

1998 street project
Pete Carlson, city engineer, informed the council they received bids from 13 contractors for the 1998 street improvement project. ďI feel this is a tremendous turnout. S.J. Louis Construction, Inc. of St. Cloud was the low bidder at $731,647. Their bid came in about $70,000 below the engineerís estimate,Ē Carlson said. ďThe bidding was very competitive. There were five bidders within $20,000 of each other.Ē

ďWith the unusual weather we have been experiencing, the contractors are looking at starting work in April instead of May,Ē Carlson said.

In other business...
ēThe council approved requests for annual contributions to the following:
$2,000-Paynesville Area Historical Society
$7,500-Activities Alive
$3,313-Paynesville Community Education summer recreation program
$10,000-Paynesville Area Senior Center.

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