Pickerington Times-Sun

Issue 20

Local senior center seeks levy renewal


The Pickerington Senior Center next month will seek the renewal of a levy to provide ongoing funds to help maintain its facility and keep it open for the next five years.

Voters on Nov. 6 will determine the fate of a 0.2-mill operating renewal levy for the Pickerington Senior Center, 150 Hereford Drive.

If passed, Issue 20 would provide ongoing operations funds to the senior center, which was established in 28 years ago and has approximately 750 members.

The renewal of the five-year senior center levy would not result in an increase in taxes for township property owners, supporters said.

Rather, it would replace an existing levy that is set to expire at the end of this year.

If approved, the renewal levy would go into effect at the beginning of 2013.

It would allow Violet Township, which owns the senior center, to begin collecting taxes from it in 2014.

According to Violet Township officials, the township is not permitted to use any levy funds for purposes other than those related to the senior center.

"The renewal is a replacement and will absolutely not result in an increase in taxes that are currently paid by property and business owners," said John Sambrosky, president of the Pickerington Senior Center.

"The center, which receives funding only from the levy, offers seniors activities ranging from card-playing, exercising, educational forms and community events," Sambrosky said.

"The renewal is important for the center to operate because without the levy, we would possible have to close in a few years due to insufficient funds," he said

"For some people, it's the only place they have."

According to Fairfield County Auditor Jon A. Slater, Jr., the levy would raise $196,000 in funds annually, assuming the tax valuation of properties does not fluctuate.

It would cost the property owners in Violet Township and Pickerington $6.13 a year per $100,000 valuation of property.

Sambrosky said the levy is vital to the center's ongoing operations.

Approximately $80,000 of the annual revenue generated by the levy would fund yearly salaries of the center's one full-time employee, as well as its three part-time employees.

The balance of the $196,000 in annual taxes would go toward building maintenance, utilities and the possible expansion of programming and nighttime operational hours for the center, Sambrosky said.

"Funds would also go towards maintaining the 28-year-old building, which is in need of a new roof, a new sprinkler system, an upgraded heating and cooling system and repaving of the parking lot," he said.

"This basically is to keep us open.

"With this, we can expand (services) if more people want them," Sambrosky said.

Membership to the Pickerington Senior Center is open to anyone 50 years and older, regardless of residency. Membership costs are $12.50 a year, per person.