Voters this summer will be asked to support the renewal of a Delaware County Council for Older Adults levy, as well as a funding increase for operations.

Voters this summer will be asked to support the renewal of a Delaware County Council for Older Adults levy, as well as a funding increase for operations.

After receiving approval last Monday from the Delaware County commissioners, the county's Council for Older Adults will put a 0.9-mill, five-year levy before voters during an Aug. 5 special election.

If passed, the measure would renew the COA's current 0.7-mill senior citizens services levy, and provide an additional 0.2 mill the nonprofit agency's officials said will allow it to serve a growing number of members. It also would represent the first funding increase for the COA since 1998, when voters approved increasing its senior services levy from 0.5 mill to 0.7 mill.

"We've grown quite rapidly and we expect to continue to grow," said Bob Horrocks, COA director. "If 0.7 (mill) would have done it for us, that's what we would have asked for.

"The 0.9 (mill) is what we think is the least amount that will help us provide services and keep people off waiting lists."

Horrocks said the COA anticipates the number of seniors living in Delaware County will grow by up to 19,000 people by 2010. He also noted COA membership currently is in excess of 1,100 people.

Passage of the increased levy, Horrocks said, would result in additional annual taxes of $9.95 per $100,000 of home valuation.

"That's a little less than 3 cents a day," he said.

Horrocks said the need for the levy isn't related to the construction of the COA's new $12-million facility, which opened last winter and was funded through a voter-approved bond.

Rather, he said, it will primarily fund in-home services to county seniors, such as the delivery of warm meals by COA volunteers. He said 57 percent of COA members are 80 or older, and receive some form of in-home care.

Additionally, Horrocks said the COA is moving forward with a special election so its levy issue isn't buried on a November ballot that will feature a host of state, local and national elections, including the race for U.S. president.

"We would like to be on in August because, frankly, this fall we think is going to be a historic election," he said. "There is going to be a lot of state, local and federal races that are going to be hotly contested.

"We don't think we can break through all the noise in November. We want people to know what they're voting for, and we want to have a very visible campaign. We'd like to do it this August, when we think we'll have the best opportunity to educate the public about this replacement levy and additional 0.2 millage."

nellis@thisweeknews.com