Senior snow removal plan unveiled
It’s been said that nothing but good can come out of involvement in the political process.
Jerry Oldenkamp, a champion of the disabled and elderly, ran unsuccessfully for a seat on the South Lake Tahoe City Council in November.
At that time he said the campaign opened his eyes to a lot of situations that need fixing in the city and pledged to address them regardless of the election outcome.
Another aspiring politician spewing campaign rhetoric? Not in Oldenkamp’s case.
Oldenkamp is in the process of setting up a system for South Lake Tahoe’s elderly and disabled to enjoy snow removal services free of charge in the form of the Senior Snow Removal Fund.
The fund will kick in when money is needed to pay workers to remove snow. Other times volunteers will be used.
Funding for the service could come from El Dorado County’s Health Department. Oldenkamp said the department will likely contribute an undetermined amount to the fund.
Oldenkamp said he’s been in touch with a local snowboarding academy and as many as 15 students may help with volunteer snow removal.
Also, there is a possibility that the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department may use inmates to the program.
The snow removal fund will be set up at El Dorado Savings Bank and will be ongoing all year long. Oldenkamp said any money left from one snow season will carry over to the next.
A concern in setting up the service is that the right people use it.
Oldenkamp said the service should be used by those who are unable, due to advanced age or physical handicap, to clear an access path from their residence to their car or street.
“This is for the 80-year-old lady who lives by herself or a disabled guy with no help,” Oldenkamp said.
When someone calls the service, Oldenkamp said the person will be asked a few qualifying questions to make sure they are not abusing the service. Assuming they are not, Senior Snow Removal will send shovelers to the client’s residence.
Once there, Oldenkamp said it will typically be up to the person who requested the snow removal to tell the shovelers what to shovel. The service will not shovel a whole apartment complex for one elderly resident, but will do what is reasonable to give that person the ability to go where a person with no age or physical constraints could go.
Oldenkamp said he wouldn’t mind the inclement weather holding off for a while as there may still be bugs to work out with the service.
Those who wish to volunteer time or money to the snow removal project or those who are in need of its services beginning Friday can call the Senior Snow Removal Fund Hotline at (530) 541-7667.
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