Supes put wheels in motion |

Supes put wheels in motion

by Timothy Bowman

The working poor might get a boost today when El Dorado County Board of Supervisors meets for the first time since April 3.

Recommendations will be heard from El Dorado County Social Services about the establishment of a CalWORKs Family Loan Program.

Social Services is recommending the allocation of $80,000 of state funds to provide automobile loans for CalWORKs members in El Dorado County.

CalWORKs is a state program to help the working poor gain self-sufficiency. El Dorado County Director of Social Services, Glenn Helland, said the loans will help people get and keep better jobs.

“(The automobile loan) is to help (people in the CalWORKs program) make the transition from the CalWORKs program to the world of work,” Helland said. “This is for people who are working. They can have reliable transportation to get to their job, keep their job, and maybe travel a little farther for a better paying job.”

Helland said finding reliable transportation is one of the main obstacles welfare recipients and CalWORKs participants face in the struggle to become financially self-sufficient.

“The big items (for CalWORKs recipients) are housing, child care and transportation,” said Helland. “This is going to try to tackle the transportation issue. It is aimed at those people who are working in the CalWORKs program. That would be the working poor.”

Funding for the program will come from the state and federal government instead of from the county. Helland said all funds given out will be loans.

“It is a loan program intended to help people maintain their jobs and have better access to better paying jobs,” Helland said. “We requested to the state department of social services. There is no net county funding so it is all state and federal funding.”

In other business the board will also receive a report from the County Department of Transportation on traffic capacity on U.S. Highway 50.

“The board commissioned a study to answer three questions,” said Matt Boyer, county director of transportation. “What are the existing traffic volumes in El Dorado County; what is the existing service; and how much added capacity will be created to accommodate future traffic?”

According to Boyer, traffic on Highway 50 is nearing usage capacity, especially from Ponderosa Road to the Sacramento County line. Boyer said traffic congestion could have an effect on future housing developments in the county.

“(The study researched) how many new homes could be built before Highway 50 reaches level of service F, which is basically standstill traffic congestion. the report indicates that right now we are at the breaking point of E and F. “

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