Delaware County voters will be asked Aug. 5 to support the renewal of a Delaware County Council for Older Adults levy, as well as a funding increase for operations.

Delaware County voters will be asked Aug. 5 to support the renewal of a Delaware County Council for Older Adults levy, as well as a funding increase for operations.

The countywide special election will determine if the COA will receive funding through a five-year, 0.9-mill levy.

If passed, the measure would renew the COA's current 0.7-mill senior services levy, and provide an additional 0.2 mill the nonprofit agency's officials said will allow them to serve a growing number of older adults.

It also would represent the first funding increase for the COA since 1998, when voters approved increasing the senior services levy from 0.5 mill to 0.7 mill.

"It's a total of 0.9 mill," said Bob Horrocks, COA director. "What these dollars will provide is for the in-home services."

Horrocks said passage of the levy would result in additional annual taxes of $9.95 per $100,000 of assessed home valuation. It primarily would fund services provided to county seniors in their homes.

These services include the delivery of warm meals by COA volunteers, adult day care, in-home medical treatment and transportation to doctors and other medical specialists.

Horrocks said the levy need is two-fold. First, the COA's current levy, which funds in-home services, will expire in December.

Additionally, he said, the number of people 60 years and older in Delaware County is increasing and is expected to grow substantially in the next five years.

"In the year 2000, the U.S. Census showed 12,734 people over the age of 60 in Delaware County," he said. "In 2010, (a Miami University study) says that number will be 22,396.

"It's an increase of about 2,000 people per year until 2020."

Currently, the COA provides in-home services to about 1,100 people. Of those, 57 percent are 80 or older and receive some form of in-home service.

By providing in-home services, Horrocks said, people can remain in their homes, as opposed to being placed in nursing homes or on waiting lists for nursing homes.

"We really think it's a cost-savings down the line if we can get them in-home care and keep them out of nursing homes," he said. "We see ourselves as serving all older folks in the county."

Horrocks said the need for the levy isn't related to the construction of the COA's new, $12-million facility, which was built and is owned by the Delaware County commissioners, and it is leased to the COA for $1 each year.