New funding formula may cost Bureau of Aging $32,000 in '94 Money could be lost for assistance, meals

June 11, 1993|By Katherine Richards | Katherine Richards,Staff Writer

The Carroll County Bureau of Aging faces a possible loss of more than $32,000 in federal and state funding in fiscal 1994, said Janet B. Flora, the bureau chief.

If finalized, the cut could cause reductions in the Senior Information and Assistance Program, as well as meals and other senior center activities, she said.

The proposed funding cut would result if the federal Department of Health and Human Services approves a new state formula to distribute Older Americans Act money among local agencies on aging, according to Janette Martin, chief of the nutrition and community services division of the state Office on Aging.

Under the new formula, 10 percent of the money for Older Americans Act programs would be distributed among the counties according to the number of elderly poor minority residents in each county.

"Carroll County has not had a large number of minority individuals, ever," Ms. Flora said.

The counties whose aging programs would lose the most under the new formula are Cecil, which stands to lose more than $48,000, and St. Mary's, which would lose more than $44,000.

RTC Other counties would benefit from the new formula.

Baltimore City would gain more than $89,000, and Baltimore County would gain about $75,000.

The cuts would mean that the Carroll County Senior Information and Assistance program would lose half its state funding, about $10,900, which is nearly 25 percent of the program's $44,366 budget, said Ms. Flora.

The program directs seniors toward public and private sources of assistance.

"It's the entry point to all of the other programs that the state has said will be priority programs," said Ann Allen, the program director.

"The work would be cut just about in half" if the cut goes through, Ms. Allen said.

She said reduced staff time would mean less time for interviews, outreach to senior centers and home visits.

Ms. Flora said the cut for Carroll would mean some reduction in senior center meals, but it is unclear how much. It could also mean a reduction in other senior center activities, she said.

She said the state may spread the funding reallocation over three years to reduce its impact.

The bureau would resort to cutting staff positions "only as a last resort," Ms. Flora said.

Ms. Martin said she did not know when the decision would be made at the federal level. "It's holding us up in planning," she said.

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