Walton Okaloosa Council on Aging wins contract

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TONY JUDNICH @Tonyjnwfdn

OKALOOSA COUNTY — Through at least 2018, officials from the Walton Okaloosa Council on Aging will continue to provide various senior services for people age 60 and older in Okaloosa County.

The DeFuniak Springs-based council has administered the services, which include personal care, housekeeping, companionship, meals and other assistance, for the past six years.

The Pensacola-based Northwest Florida Area Agency on Aging awarded the council with the new contract on Oct. 12. Provisions of services will be for the contract period of Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2018, with the option to renew for an additional five years.

The services are valued at $454,895, Amber McCool, executive director of the NWF Area Agency on Aging, said Friday.

Walton Okaloosa Council on Aging and Elder Services of Okaloosa County were the only agencies that turned in bids for the contract.

The Council on Aging “had a higher compiled score” that was given by a review team, said McCool, who was not part of the team.

Elder Services, formerly known as the Okaloosa County Council on Aging, provided the senior services for years until about eight years ago, when the Bridgeway Center won a bid and began providing them. Bridgeway ran the programs for a couple of years, and then turned them back over to the NWF Area Agency on Aging.

In 2011, the Walton County Council on Aging won a bid to provide the services and became the Walton Okaloosa Council on Aging.

Elder Services Executive Director Ruth Lovejoy on Friday said she and other officials from her agency have some concerns about the scoring system that was used to award the latest contract.

For example, “How can there be a 30 percent difference between one (review team member’s) score and another person’s score when they’re looking at technical issues on the same thing?” Lovejoy asked. “It doesn’t make sense to me.”

She said she is looking into how the scoring was conducted.