Vision Van To Be Replaced – Board Votes To Apply For LCIF Grant

The board of directors of North Carolina Lions, Inc. voted at its quarterly meeting in Hickory to replace the aging Vision Van.
The van will be replaced with a 24-foot to 28-foot long trailer and vehicle that will be equipped to perform vision screenings. The total cost of the project will be between $130,000 and $150,000. Executive Director Steve Walker said the trailer and vehicle would be paid for through a $75,000 grant from the Lions Clubs International Foundation, along with existing monies already donated to the organization or budgeted for a replacement vehicle. Walker said replacing the Vision Van is warranted because of increased maintenance costs to keep the vehicle in operation. The van was purchased in 1999 and has more than 219,500 miles. While mileage is not a deciding factor in replacement, there has been a tremendous amount of wear on the engine over the past 11 years. Maintenance cost has increased significantly over the past few years and there is concern that major repairs are a possibility in the future. The Vision Van travels approximately 22,000 miles per year. The organization spends approximately $13,500 annually to purchase diesel fuel. Changing to a truck and trailer would save the organization money – approximately $6,000 per year in fuel costs. Walker noted that the Vision Van will be out of service during December while repairs are made. Switching from a bus to an utility trailer would allow the organization to leave the trailer in place for multiple day screenings and allow the driver to use the truck was transportation. A trailer would allow easier access due to lower entry doors. With a larger floor plan, Walker said they will consider adding a hearing screening booth. LCIF will not consider new grant requests until the international board meets in 2012. Walker said there is no timetable as to when a new trailer will be operational, but it hoped that it will be ready by the start of the new Lions’ year in July.

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