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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Plan Sept. 20 Re-Opening For Elderly Meal Site In Marinette

Issue Date: August 25, 2021

Nutrition Coordinator Lindsey Rysewyk informed the Marinette County Committee on Aging Board at its meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 18 that the congregate meal sites throughout the county have been slowly re-opening. The opening date of the Marinette site was changed to Monday, Sept. 20, and after that date, all the sites will again be open. The meal sites have been closed for in-person dining and group activities since the Covid-19 pandemic began in early 2020. Throughout the pandemic, meals were delivered to individual homes.

Rysewyk also said the agency's Nutrition Advisory Council will start having meetings again. She explained the role of this committee, which meets periodically to discuss concerns or new ideas at the meal sites.

The board welcomed Mary Holley as its newest member. Holley was recently appointed to represent the Coleman, Beaver/Pound area. Olivia Cherry, who is relatively new to her position as Executive Director, introduced Holley to the board and said that she had held a board member orientation with Holley that included a tour of the main Elderly Services office at 516 North Hwy. 141 in Crivitz and some background information on the Agency.

The board meeting was held at the Goodman Meal Site at 506 Mill Street in Goodman. Board members present in addition to Holley were Rick Downs, Joan Rocque, Debbie Baumgart, Mike Behnke, and Don Phillips, Chair. Al Sauld was absent and excused. Also on hand were the new agency director, Olivia Cherry; Rysewyk, and Office Coordinator Shelly Menger.

With Cherry now in place as director, consultants Pam Mueller Johnson and Mary Basak will be done consulting with the Agency at the end of August.

News articles on the retirements were shared in board member packets, and before adjournment, the Board recognized the retirements, years of service, and dedication of Pam Mueller Johnson, Mary Basak, and long-time Peshtigo Meal Site Manager Carol Belonga.

The board was advised that both Peshtigo and Marinette have new meal site managers, and a substitute site manager has been hired in Goodman. Marinette and Niagara both have hired part-time drivers. Still needed are an assistant cook in Crivitz, a site manager in Niagara, a part-time driver in Marinette, and possibly a Finance assistant.

On a motion by Baumgart, seconded by Downs, the name of former director Pam Mueller Johnson was removed as Executive Director on the Stephenson National Bank and Trust Agency and Meal Site accounts, and Olivia Cherry's name was added.

In her report, Rysewyk shared results and some of the participants' positive comments on the Annual Nutrition Surveys that are required by the Greater Wisconsin Agency on Aging Resources, Inc. (GWAAR). The surveys go out annually to get feedback on the nutrition program. The GWAAR is an area agency on aging through which expert consultants provide advocacy support, training, and technical assistance to Wisconsin county and tribal aging offices in 70 counties and 11 tribes serving older adults, persons with disabilities, and their caregivers.

After brief discussions on ways to use some special funds that will be coming in, the action was postponed until the next meeting. Cherry said the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding will be roughly equivalent to the Agency's normal Older American Act allocations, and explained that these funds must be spent by September of 2024. Cherry said she will be learning some new details soon on how this money can be spent and what it can be used for.

Cherry said the agency will also be receiving Vaccine Access Support Grant funds from the GWAAR that must be spent by the end of the year. There was discussion on the certain creative ways that this money can be spent.

Cherry shared a few changes that have been made to the Agency's personnel handbook recently. There was a discussion on finding out more information about adding TB testing for kitchen staff and drug testing for new employees. She also shared that as an Agency, they will be doing an updated background check on staff and COA Board members every two years. On a motion by Downs, seconded by Behnke, the board agreed to accept the Personnel Handbook changes, with the exception of finding out more information about TB and drug testing.

The board was advised that the Crivitz office holds a foot clinic once a month, where a nurse from â€Almost Family†comes to clip toenails, and they have now started a clinic in Goodman.

Cherry told the board about a few nice donations that had come into the Agency recently.

Rysewyk said they were recently chosen by a group called â€100 Women Giving Back†to receive a monetary donation. She explained how this group came to be and that they vote on which non-profits to donate to. She reported the July golf outing was a huge success.

The next COA meeting will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 20 in Peshtigo.


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