Programs that provide meals and transportation for Montezuma County’s senior citizens are running out of money.
On Monday, Senior Services Director Sue Fletcher told the county commissioners she’s been forced to reduce the days that senior lunches are offered at the county annex from five to three a week. Home delivery through Meals on Wheels has also been reduced to three days a week in Cortez, while meals in Mancos and Dolores are down to just one a week. The MoCo transit service, which provides rides to seniors for medical appointments and grocery shopping, has been cut back as well. County Transit Manager Mary Holaday said the shuttle has a fee schedule but will take anyone over 60 for free or for a donation. Fletcher told KSJD even though she’s reduced her hours and those of her staff, the funding shortfall for the meals and transit programs is more than $30,000. She asked the county for help to tide them over until new funding becomes available July 1. The senior programs are mostly financed through state and federal funding, while the county allows free use of its facilities to prepare and serve meals. The commissioners, who are facing serious budget woes of their own, made no commitment but said they are looking at different options to keep services at their current level until the new fiscal year.