Inyo County took another step this week towards separating its senior programs from Mono County’s.
Inyo County Health and Human Services, earlier this week, submitted a letter to the California Department of Aging expressing interest in becoming the designated Area Agency on Aging for Inyo County.
Last year, Inyo County sent a request to Mono County, asking them to pitch more money into the joint program to help cover administrative costs (which Inyo County has traditionally funded).
Mono County, citing a smaller program with less seniors, refused that request, which sent Inyo on a mission to create a stand-alone program that would not include paying for administration of Mono County’s services.
In December of last year, the Inyo-Mono Area Agency on Aging governing board sent a letter to the California Department of Aging, stating its intent to stop participating in the regional program.
In January, the California Department of Aging responded, offering Inyo County the opportunity to serve as the administrator for senior services in Area 16, covering Inyo and Mono counties.
Becoming a regional administrator for senior services would cost approximately $60,000 a year. If the county accepts the offer, it will be responsible for conducting needs assessments every four years (and annually if necessary), determining prioritization of services based on the results of the needs assessment and complying with all federal and state requirements for serving seniors.
Inyo County would also be responsible for senior services in Mono County, but would also be eligible for state and federal funds to operate the program.
If Inyo County decides not to serve as service Area 16’s administrator, the California Department of Aging will be charged with locating another entity to administer senior programs in the area.
Inyo County approved a letter to the California Department of Aging, stating that it is interested, but not committed, to becoming a regional administrator.
The county now has 60 days (from Feb. 20) to look into the feasibility of taking on the program.
By the end of the 60 days, Inyo must provide a detailed proposal, demonstrating the county’s ability to function as the Area Agency on Aging.
“Our commitment to our seniors is strong and healthy,” First District Supervisor Linda Arcularius said, pointing out that the county is working to avoid any loss of services to seniors. “The commitment level on this board has not wavered.”