ST. CLAIRSVILLE - The transportation arm of Belmont Senior Services provides a vital benefit to the senior community in Belmont County.
There are plenty of senior citizens fully capable of piloting a car up and down the streets of the Ohio Valley. There are also some that cannot.
And for those that can't, transportation provided by senior services is their lifeline to be able to make doctor visits, trips to the pharmacy and other key appointments.
For that, senior services requires a fleet or dependable, safe vehicles in which to transport its clients.
That's not the only service performed by the transportation department's vehicles, however.
Belmont Senior Services also brings hot meals to seniors who are unable to leave their homes, for whatever reason. These meals are delivered in HotShot delivery vehicles, enabling senior service employees to transport freshly cooked, hot meals in large quantities.
The ability to transport large amounts of food is essential considering the meals served daily at the various senior centers throughout Belmont County are also provided by senior services.
Belmont Senior Services recently was able to purchase 10 full-sized vans for transportation, Ford E150 and E250s, along with three Dodge Avengers.
Two HotShot vehicles were also able to be purchased, fully upgraded senior services' fleet.
''Our fleet was dying off and some of the vehicles we had to shut down because they just weren't safe to drive,'' said Chrissy Frank, Belmont Senior Services administrative assistant. ''It shorted us on vehicles.
''Replacing them was long overdue.''
The Avengers replaced the Chevrolet Malibus that senior services had been using.
Frank noted that whenever a new batch of vehicles is purchased, price, amount of room, safety and opinions of the seniors themselves are all taken into account when deciding which model of vehicle to purchase.
Money for the purchases came in large part from the three operating levies that have been passed in Belmont County, one which was recently renewed by the voters last November.
Hughes may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org