WEST ORANGE, NJ — In order to make the Ginny Duenkel Pool more accessible to senior citizens and people with disabilities, the West Orange Township Council authorized $479,000 on Tuesday to hire Drill Construction to make the necessary improvements to bring this goal to fruition.
Lenny LePore, municipal engineer, told the council that these dollars will be used to increase the number of handicapped parking spaces at the pool, provide easier access from the pool’s entrance way to the parking lot, make the parking stalls Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant, eliminate steps when entering the facility and keep the walking path as even as possible (only a 2-percent grade).
In another item related to senior services, Degnan House resident Pat Sigalas returned to the council to continue the discussion about improving the communication with seniors who need transportation to attend community events.
“We need a Senior Advisory Board to advocate for better transportation for seniors,” said Sigalas. “They will be the go-to group if we have problems with transportation and other issues. This is what is needed.”
Councilman Joe Krakoviak asked the township’s administration to track transportation complaints in a more organized manner.
Theresa De Nova, West Orange health officer, said Sigalas and other seniors who are experiencing problems with transportation should call her at (973) 325-4123, and she will deal with the situation.
De Nova said that seniors must call in advance if they want to attend a community event, especially when it is at night. She said advanced notice is critical because the general transportation service for seniors ends at around 4 p.m. during the week, and a special bus driver needs to be hired if enough seniors show interest in attending an evening event.
“We want to do everything we can to provide seniors with transportation to town events, and make sure they don’t feel homebound,” said De Nova.
To read more from this meeting, where the council approved a resolution to award the West Orange refuse and recycling collection contract to Suburban Disposal for a five-year period at $2,867,554 a year, click HERE.
The next council meeting will be held on Aug. 7.