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12. B. 14.
Contract Amendment to increase the unit rate for Community Action's Senior Transportation program
Helen Guzzo, Senior Services Manager, Senior Services
The Calhoun County Board of Commission does hereby approve an amendment to the Senior Millage-funded, Minor Home Repair and Senior Transportation Contract for 2019-2023 with Community Action, to increase the unit rate for van rides for older adults, age 60 and over, from $17.25 per one way ride to $19.00 per one way ride for Fiscal Year 2021.
County Administration recommends approval of this contract amendment to preserve Community Action's capacity to provide transportation. On every needs assessment that Calhoun County Senior Services has conducted, transportation is always a highly ranked need in the community. This service was fully utilized in 2019 providing 30,608 rides to 676 older adults to medical appointments, grocery shopping, work and social visits using all of its 2019 funding of $500,000 plus additional supplemental funding of $4,568.
Also important to note, is the original contract contains a provision that permits the parties to renegotiate the unit cost of a ride to reflect the actual cost of providing the service, which is exactly what occurs with this recommended amendment to the contract. While we could not anticipate COVID-19 at the time the parties agreed to the original contract, sufficient flexibility was built in to address the situation where a provider was experiencing a loss, on a per unit basis, due to a change of circumstances not originally anticipated. This flexibility permits that program to continue uninterrupted.
Because older adults staying home to stay safe during the COVID pandemic, Community Action has experienced a dramatic decrease in the number of rides being provided and is requesting this rate increase to cover its fixed costs until ridership can be regained. In 2020, Community Action only provided 12,309 rides to 522 older adults spending only $234,169 of its $500,000 contract for Senior Transportation. Community Action has requested this one year rate increase to cover the transportation program's expected funding deficit in 2021. It is expected that the contract will be underspent because of reduced ridership again in 2021, and the additional dollars requested in this rate increase will come from unspent contract amounts. If ridership rebuilds or Federal funding becomes available, Community Action will request to return to the original unit rate in the contract.
The Senior Millage Allocation Committee approved this contract amendment at its March 5, 2021 meeting and recommends County Board of Commission Approval.
Community Action is working collaboratively with Battle Creek Transit to pilot the BC Go, countywide transportation demonstration and is working with the groups that support a Countywide Transportation system/initiative.
The proposed unit rate increase of $17.25 to $19.00 will help preserve Community Action's capacity to provide transportation and help Community Action eliminate an expected deficit in the program due to reduced ridership because of seniors staying home and staying safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is expected that the $500,000 contract will be underspent in 2021 as it was in 2020, so the additional funds to cover this rate increase will come from unspent funds in the existing contract. If ridership rebuilds and there is a need at the end of the year for supplemental funds, Senior Millage has a healthy fund balance that could be used to request a budget adjustment if needed.
Senior Millage Contract Services are budgeted under 2184.108.40.20674.801.000.
CA Sr Transportation Contract Amendment 5 18 2021
Sr Transportation Original Contract 2019-2023
Community Action Letter Requesting Increase
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