By SCOTT PESZNECKER
Calaveras County supervisors will decide Monday whether to give a chunk of federal grant money to the Area 12 Agency on Aging to pay down the agency's $43,000 deficit.
The public hearing on Area 12 is scheduled for 11:15 a.m.
Peggy Lee, Area 12 executive director, said last month that if Calaveras supervisors didn't agree to help pay off the deficit, Area 12 could pull its meals programs out of the county. The senior meals programs serve about 500 seniors countywide.
Area 12 has hired agencies from Amador and Tuolumne counties to carry on the meals programs until the end of June. That change was effective Monday.
If Calaveras County refuses to help with the bailout, the debt could be passed on to the agency's other four member counties Tuolumne, Amador, Mariposa and Alpine.
Calaveras County Administrative Officer Tom Mitchell has proposed using Community Development Block Grant money already in county coffers to cover the deficit.
Mitchell has said at least 51 percent of Area 12 meals recipients in Calaveras County qualify as low-income, as is required by federal law to receive block grant revenues.
Area 12 racked up the deficit since July, when it took over the county's nutrition programs.
The agency usually hires outside companies to provide food service for senior nutrition programs in the five counties.
Last week, supervisors overturned an earlier decision to give almost $25,000 to Area 12. That money would have been put in a trust fund to pay for extra home-delivered meals that aren't planned for in the agency's annual budget.