Senior Center getting much-needed new van

FLINT TWP. — The Carman- Ainsworth Senior Citizens Center will soon have a new set of wheels.

In a unanimous decision, the Flint Township Board of Trustees agreed to match a $15,000 grant the center has received through the Community Foundation of Greater Flint through the Peter D. and Nancy P. Kleinpell Family fund. An amendment of the township’s general fund budget was required to provide the matching funds.

The center will use the money to buy a van and graphics, according to a letter from Pam Luna, center executive director.

Speaking during public comment before the board voted, Jim McClung, president of the senior center executive board, described the center’s current van as “a death trap.”

“You can drive down the road and the back door will fly open,” he said. That makes it no longer safe to use to transport seniors.

Trustee Barb Vert, who also is an advisor for the senior board, added that the van can no longer be used for longer day trips and also that it broke down last year in the middle of the Carman-Ainsworth Homecoming Parade.

Rather than ask the township board to buy a new vehicle the senior board sought its own funding. “We decided months ago to try to help ourselves first,” he said.

The center was awarded its “Transportation – Lifeline for Senior Citizens” grant in mid-August. The funds are to be used only for the stated purpose and requires a final report due on January 30, 2018.

Trustee Frank Kasle spoke in favor of the purchase but asked that, since the township provided half the funds, if the senior board would give preference to buying from a car dealership in Flint Township.

Vert said they are looking locally while seeking quotes but can’t guarantee al local purchase if nearby dealerships can’t offer the best price.

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