At the Jan. 10 board meeting, Paonia trustees unanimously approved a request from the Paonia Senior Center for a $3,000 donation. Representative Lynne Bear made the request to the board. The town has given an annual donation since 2010, said Bear. The 40-year-old organization provides hot meals for seniors age 60 and older, and volunteers deliver meals to shut-ins in their personal vehicles through the Meals on Wheels program, she explained.
The center is a place where seniors can visit and enjoy a meal together, said Bear. They meet three times a week. and have one part-time employee. Meal deliverers also check in on seniors, which can be their only contact with others. In 2016 they delivered 40-50 meals a week in Paonia and surrounding areas. Every Wednesday the Paonia Flower Shop delivers a fresh bouquet of flowers, and a drawing is held for a senior to take the flowers home. The first Wednesday of the month they celebrate birthdays, for which Hotchkiss City Market has donated a cake for the last several years. A volunteer plays the piano at each meal, and Ron Rowell has volunteered to plow the parking lot for many years.
The money will go toward utilities, insurance and building maintenance, said Bear. The center lost its only source of income when Columbine Senior Services stopped providing meals in 2009. Volunteers of America is providing food service, but can't provide additional funds; all money from meals goes directly to VOA. They work very diligently to raise funds through semi-annual bake sales, rent the building when possible, and encourage donations. "We are always looking for ways to raise funds," said Bear.
Bear was the first to come before trustees to request a donation since the board made it mandatory for non-profits to give a presentation to the town to be considered for a donation last December. The donation was approved in the 2017 budget.
Also at the Jan. 10 meeting, trustees passed a resolution designating Town Hall as the posting place for notices of public meetings, and the Delta County Independent the official paper for posting required legal notices.
Trustees also passed an ordinance repealing portions of the town municipal code "concerning minors frequenting establishments which serve alcoholic beverages" to allow for minors to be on the premises of establishments where alcoholic beverages are served. The ordinance had not been enforced in recent years.
"I think this ordinance goes beyond state statute," said town attorney David Marek.