Press-Republican

Local News

July 15, 2014

Problems arise with senior-meals kitchen

ELIZABETHTOWN — The central kitchen for Essex County’s senior nutrition sites is in sad shape and may need replacement, county lawmakers were told Monday.

The County Board of Supervisors is forming an ad hoc committee to look into structural and preparation-equipment issues at the county-owned building that houses the Nutrition Program for the Elderly kitchen.

The group will make recommendations to the board about the building, located on Court Street in Elizabethtown.

VIOLATIONS

County Office for the Aging Director Patty Bashaw told the County Human Services Committee that a recent State Department of Health inspection found nine violations, including two for health hazards.

“We are having some issues,” she said. “It’s things like flooring that doesn’t meet codes (because) it’s not smooth; there are ventilation issues.”

All violations have since been corrected, she said.

CONTRACT WITH COUNTY

The Office for the Aging runs the Nutrition Program, and Adirondack Community Action Programs prepares the meals under contract.

About 1,000 lunches go out daily to the county’s 14 nutrition sites.

The program also has a component that home delivers lunches, called Meals on Wheels.

County Manager Daniel Palmer said the inspection showed numerous problems with the building that holds the kitchen.

“We asked for a guesstimate to build a new kitchen that size. It was $700,000. It was $500,000 to rehab (the existing kitchen).”

He said rebuilding the kitchen likely isn’t the solution.

“The basic problem with some of the finishes within the building is that they don’t lend themselves well to cleaning, such as floor tiles not smooth and ceiling tiles that are difficult to clean,” Palmer said after the meeting.

PRICE FOR MEALS

The county now asks for a donation of $3.50 a meal for those age 60 and older. Palmer suggested they increase the price by $1 to cover the cost of a construction bond, if the county puts up a new kitchen building.

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