Commissioners approve grant agreement for Medical Assistance transportation funding

The Centre County Board of Commissioners approved a grant agreement Tuesday to cover the costs of the Medical Assistance Transportation Program for this fiscal year.

The program provides transportation for Medical Assistance recipients who don’t have transportation available to them. The grant total is $418,640 for the period of July 1 to June 30, 2014.

Last year, the county’s provided service increased by almost 1,000 trips, and the total cost was nearly $395,000, said Transportation Office Director Dave Lomision. It is funded through the state Department of Public Welfare, and there is no county match.

The dollar usage last year decreased from the previous year because the county cut costs, specifically for out-of-county trips, which saves taxpayer dollars, Lomision said. The county also got stricter for no-shows, which cut down on that problem.

“We do it more economically through the county transportation than funding it out through contractors,” he said.

The board also approved a proclamation Tuesday, declaring Aug 3-10 Local Foods Week in Centre County.

The week, which includes celebrations and events, helps kick off August as a monthlong celebration of agriculture, said Brian Snyder, executive director of the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture. It is followed up by the Penn State Ag Progress Days and the Centre County Grange Encampment and Fair.

Events include the farm fest, bike fresh bike local, the golden basket chef competition and the eighth annual farm tour.