Seniors get new bus from Jones

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 4, 2001


LAPLACE – St. John the Baptist Parish has a new bus it will be using for outings for its senior citizens. When Sheriff Wayne L. Jones looked into purchasing a bus a few years ago, the prices were a little steep. For a new one the parish would have to pay over $51,000. Just recently, however, he got a good deal on a slightly used vehicle from Avis Rent A Car. The parish only spent $14,000 on the 1996 vehicle. “I’ve been wanting to do this since 1998,” said Jones. “I wanted us to get more involved in our senior citizen population.” Jones said they have been looking for ways to expand services for the senior population, and he noticed other sheriffs in the area had programs where they would take seniors on trips to the Aquarium or to see the new WWII Museum in New Orleans. “We also hope to use the vehicle for working with the Special Olympics. We are hoping to bring some of the kids to see a baseball game,” he added. Jones said Avis had just gotten a new fleet in, so St. John bought the best of the old buses and removed the Avis stickers. Sheriff’s emblems and the Triad stickers were then placed on the vehicle. Inmates did all of the work to the outside. Triad, a program that links the sheriff’s office with the AARP and the Council on Aging, is largely responsible for servicing the senior population. “All the scheduled trips will be sheriff sponsored through Lt. Lanard Robinet, our Triad director,” said Jones. The bus was completely refurbished, with air conditioning and heating. It will be maintained by inmates at no cost to taxpayers. “We are happy that we are able to step up and do some things for our seniors,” said Jones. “We’re also excited to get it for such a good price.” The first duty of the new bus will be to ride in the LaPlace Mardi Gras parade on Feb. 25. It will be a non-emergency first aid station. “For example,” said Jones, “when kids in the marching groups get blisters on their feet, they can come in the bus and ride at the back of the parade to the end.”