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Town-run transportation services for senior citizens in Lancaster are growing by leaps and bounds, and now more drivers, plus a second van, mean that seniors will have a better chance of finding a ride in 1998.

The town has received a new senior van from the county, and 12 part-time drivers have been hired to fill shifts throughout the week, Supervisor Robert H. Giza said Tuesday.

"We're actually running a full service now. It used to be hit or miss," Giza said.

Previously, senior van service in the town was available on a limited basis a few days each week. Now, with the new van added to an older town-owned van already in service, transportation will be available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, Giza said.

"It's probably going to start off slow, and then people will hear about it, and it will take off," he said. "If it works out really well, we might think about evening service."

The cost of staffing the two vans with 12 part-time drivers, at a rate of $6 an hour, will be $15,000 for the year, according to David Brown, the town's director of finance.

But Brown said that will be offset by the charge that seniors pay per trip, which will probably be set at $2 each way, bringing the net cost to the town to about $10,000 for the year.

Seniors interested in using the expanded van service will continue to make appointments through the county's dispatching center, just as they do now, Giza said.

Transportation will be provided for medical treatment and emergencies, trips to the town's Senior Center and errands, he said, although transportation for medical reasons will be given priority.

Giza said the county used to provide the town's senior citizens with a "Going Places" van, but since that county service stopped a year ago, the town has been working to provide the van service on its own.

In other business, the Town Board this week:

Awarded a contract to Concord Nurseries Inc. of North Collins to plant trees throughout the town next year during annual beautification activities. The firm submitted a low bid of $28,730.

The Town Board also authorized the general crew chief to purchase additional trees from Concord Nurseries as necessary during the year, at the low bid prices.

Approved the addition of Cathy Ende of Broadway to the roster of the Twin District Volunteer Fire Company.

Appointed Amy Lynn Stroka of Alden as a tutor in the town's Youth Bureau at a rate of $9 an hour.

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