Olentangy Valley News

Director promotes senior services levy to trustees


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 presentation Monday, April 15, to the Liberty Township board of trustees.

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, the levy will raise $9 million to help provide area senior citizens with in-home care, including warm-meal deliveries, medical transportation and adult day-care. It will cost county homeowners about $37 annually per $100,000 in home value -- about $9 more than the cost of the current levy.

The cost of those services will be offset by money raised through grant writing and other fundraising efforts, Horrocks said.

"We're not asking the public to pay 100 percent of the cost," he said. "We feel it's important to do everything we can to raise private dollars. We've been successful with that in the past and it allows us to keep the millage as low as possible."

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 this week's meeting, Liberty Township trustees:

* Approved a resolution to request assistance from the Delaware County Engineer's Office to evaluate possible safety improvements at the intersection of Gibson Drive and West Powell Road.

Township Administrator Dave Anderson said there is some confusion about which drivers have the right-of-way at the intersection, so a new sign might help.

* Accepted a donation of rock salt valued at about $4,000 from local landscaping business Korthals Co. For the past seven years, the Liberty Township-based business has made donations to help de-ice roads in the winter.

Trustee Melanie Leneghan was absent from the meeting.