May proclaimed as Older Americans Month

BROOKVILLE — The Jefferson County Commissioners recently proclaimed May as Older Americans Month.

This year’s theme — "Never Too Old to Play" — emphasizes the important role older adults play in sharing their experiences and wisdom and passing that knowledge to other generations in a variety of significant ways.

“Our goal is to encourage intergenerational activities,” said Mikki Oakes, director of development and community relations for the Jefferson
County Area Agency on Aging (JCAAA). “We've noticed a trend in the fact that a lot of grandparents are now baby-sitting, and once school's out, we want them to feel welcome to bring their grandchildren to the social centers.”

The JCAAA supports four senior social centers in Jefferson County, which are the Heritage House in Brookville; the Pine Street Senior Center in Punxsutawney; the Foundry in Reynoldsville; and the Brockwayville Depot in Brockway.

Senior center volunteers have been inspired by this year’s theme and plan to bring new events to the centers, Oakes said.

Each center will hold a picnic May 24.

“If you haven't had the opportunity to come to one of our centers, this is a great time to do that,” Oakes said. “Last week, we had the privilege of holding the second-annual volunteer appreciation

Also last Tuesday, the Jefferson County Penn State Cooperative Extension Office presented a check for $200 to the Jefferson County Commissioners.

“At the extension level, our budget is very, very tight,” said Louise Christopher, Penn State Cooperative Extension. “Our only support comes from you, the commissioners, and when we have a little overage, it's become our custom to return it back to you.”

Don Tanner, who serves five counties as district director through Penn State Cooperative Extension, said Jefferson County is the only county in his district that does this.

“It’s a small amount, but it’s money they can use to still help the needs of the county,” Tanner said. “At this current time, I think it's a good idea. It just helps everybody out. There might be a day that we need more than we're allocated, and it's sure a lot easier to go back to them and say we have this issue, what can you do? If we show that we're prudent managers of the funds. That just shows we're a good steward of the funds that are given to us, and we use them correctly.”

In other business:
• The commissioners adopted Resolution No. 2012-03, approving the Fiscal Year 2012 Community Development Block Grant application in the amount of $233,325, authorizing its submission to the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.

According to Bill Setree, director of Community Development, the money will be used for the following four projects: $84,000 for sanitary sewer facility upgrades in Stump Creek; $32,327 for a sanitary sewer extension project in Reynoldsville borough; $25,000 for a blight removal in McCalmont Township; and $50,000 will be retained for the county’s housing rehabilitation program.

• The commissioners approved to enter into a grant agreement with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the amount of $345,925 for the Fiscal Year 2011 Community Development Block Grant Program.

Setree said the county is about eight months behind in receiving the funding.

But as part of the funding, the Falls Creek borough will be provided with $129,600 to carry out the Third Street Waterline Replacement Project; Sykesville borough will receive $78,403 to carry out the East Main Street Waterline Relocation Project; and the Brookville borough will receive $78,425 to finish Phase II of the borough's Hastings Street project.

• The commissioners approved a $2,000 tourism grant application by the Hotel Tax Committee for the Jefferson County Fair Authority, Big Run Pull.

• The next regular commission meeting will take place at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, May 8.

• All county offices will be closed Monday, May 28, in observance of Memorial Day.