Liberty County has won the bid to provide elder services to Franklin County for the next six years.

Lisa Breitz, executive director for the Area Agency on Aging in Northwest Florida, said Liberty was one of two potential contractors to bid on the contract. She said the amount of the two bids was very close.

After the meeting, Commissioner Noah Lockley expressed surprise at the development. He said he was under the impression Liberty was not interested in bidding on the contract when they took over as temporary provider in July.

Liberty County will be responsible for services funded under the federal Community Care for the Elderly (CCE) which can provide a wide range of goods and services, including adult day care, adult day health care, case management, case aide, chores, companionship, consumable medical supplies, counseling, escort services, emergency alert response and more to functionally impaired individuals 60 and older.

Meals on Wheels (MOW) does not fall under the auspices of CCE. Breitz said the Area Agency on Aging will seek bids in February to provide MOW. Liberty County will continue to provide MOW for the county through June 2017.

Breitz said prospective service providers had difficulty in navigating the unit cost methodology budgeting process required by funding providers during the first request for proposals, and she plans to have a workshop of the process before seeking the MOW bids

She said she hopes the newly founded Eldercare Coalition formed by Franklin County residents will soon be able to step forward to help provide services.

Breitz said she plans to form a board of Franklin County residents to provide input to the CCE and MOW providers. She said Harriett Beach of Lanark Village and Nancy Brush of Eastpoint are currently acting as liaisons to county seniors.

She told commissioners, for the present, the Area Agency on Aging will continue to receive all funding and distribute the money to service providers.

County organizer Michael Morón said the agency needs to maintain an office here or at least provide a phone number where people seeking assistance can be counseled.

Commissioners instructed Morón to post contact information for all available elder services on the county website.

Breitz said people seeking information can call (800) 96-elder (963-5337).