Senior council collecting pennies to complement levy
Fundraisers, grants keep levy low, say leaders from Council for Older Adults
Planned fundraising efforts will offset some of the need for new funding, say officials with the Council for Older Adults of Delaware County.
Executive Director Bob Horrocks said the council's pledge to raise $7 million over the next five years helped keep its May operating-levy request as low as possible.
Horrocks discussed the issue during a March 25 presentation to Delaware City Council.
The Council for Older Adults will ask voters May 7 to approve a five-year, 1.2-mill levy to replace a 0.9-mill levy that expires at the end of the year.
If passed, it will raise $9 million to help provide area senior citizens with in-home care, including warm-meal deliveries, medical transportation and adult day care.
"In addition to that, we're committed to raising $7 million in fundraising and grant-writing," Horrocks said. "It's a commitment we've made in order to keep our levy request as low as possible."
Horrocks discussed an ongoing fundraising drive to commemorate the council's 1 millionth warm meal served since it moved into its new facility at 800 Cheshire Road in Delaware in 2008.
Every day, volunteers deliver more than 800 meals to qualifying homebound seniors as part of the Meals on Wheels program. Lunches also are available at four senior dining centers throughout Delaware County.
To recognize the milestone, the council is aiming to collect a million pennies this year. That's $10,000 worth of coins.
The proceeds would provide 2,200 meals, or enough to feed 68 clients for an entire month.
Council members Carolyn Riggle and Joe DiGenova said they're already saving up. DiGenova said he's amassed $300 in pennies to donate to the cause.
The proposed 0.3-mill increase in millage won't fund any new services, Horrocks said.
Officials said the increase is needed to fund services for area seniors, since the county has experienced explosive growth in the past five years.
Delaware County saw an 83 percent increase in its senior population from 2000-10, compared with an average of just 7.7 percent growth in the senior population in other Ohio counties during that time.
The Council for Older Adults currently serves more than 5,000 area seniors, and studies show the council will see an additional 35 percent increase in its clientele over the next five years.
More than 80 percent of the council 's funding comes from levy dollars; the rest comes mostly from grants and donations.
Also at Delaware City Council's March 25 meeting, council approved a development plan for the renovation of the exterior of the McDonald's restaurant at 2091 U.S. Route 23 N., including the installation of a second drive-thru on the northwest side of the building.
Officials said the plan will help alleviate drive-thru backups along the side of the building and allow for better overall traffic circulation for the restaurant.
The access road at the east side of the building will be realigned slightly to further improve circulation.