EPCOG ponders senior citizen funding

By Brittney Canon

CMI  Staff Writer


Senior citizens topped discussion during the Oct. 14, Eastern Plains Council of Government board meeting in Clovis.

Tucumcari Mayor Robert Lumpkin asked the board to enlist help in securing funding for senior citizen services across the region.

“The senior citizens, they’re at a low socioeconomic level. They don’t get nutrition or have the physical ability to go to stores or the financial ability to purchase healthy food, and the senior citizens’ centers are providing the necessary nutrition services,” Lumpkin said.

“These people will and have been suffering (from budget cuts).”

“If we can get EPCOG on board and enlist other councils of governments in New Mexico with a resolution or action to ask for help in this area from the state … there may be other sources of revenue that can help with this issue,” he said.

EPCOG Executive Director Sandy Chancey said she would email other council of government leaders around the state and see if they can help find a solution to the problem.
“In our region we have an aging population,” Chancey said. “We’re about to tip to the other side where we have more senior citizens in this state than not. It’s going to be a bigger problem.”

Lumpkin had recently dealt with the issue of funding for Senior Citizen’s programs on  Oct. 12 during a special meeting of the Tucumcari  City Commission.

The commission had to vote on a hard decision to approve the request for proposal to the Non-Metro Area Agency on Aging for congregate meals, home meals and transportation for the Tucumcari Senior Citizen’s Center.

In the past, Tucumcari had acted as the agent for both House and Logan Senior Citizens Centers. Although, City Manager Jared Langenegger said in reviewing the contract with Non-Metro AAA that cost could be in excess of $100,000 to the tax payers of Tucumcari.

Commissioner John Mihm, said that the RFP submitted should be for Tucumcari alone and the commission asks that Langenegger reach out to county commissioners to help those entities in the county with their funding.

Langenegger is working  with Logan and House to fill out and submit their own RFP application to Non-Metro AAA for senior services.

Also at Wednesday’s meeting:
•  Chancey asked the board for approval to ask for a revolving line of credit not exceeding $25,000 from Citizens Bank of Clovis. If approved, the money would act as a financial fallback in case money from the state isn’t received in a timely manner.
Recently, Chancey said, waiting for money the state owed EPCOG put the board “in a real bind.”
“We have issues with funders not paying us in a timely manner,” Chancey said.
“So until we get our cash reserves built back up, I’d like to get a revolving line of credit form the bank to be used only when necessary and paid back as soon as possible so we can cover our expenses when the state is dragging.”
The board approved the item unanimously.
• Board members also voted to cancel the December board meeting to give more time to spend with family during the holidays.
If something requires immediate attention, Chancey said the board would call a special meeting.

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