Residents with ideas on how to make the city more age friendly are being encouraged to send their ideas to the Worthington Community Relations Commission for review.

The board is seeking applications for its annual Neighborhood and Community Development Seed Grant program, which has added an age-friendly component to its list of categories.

Commission members, who met Feb. 4, formalized the application process and set an April 17 deadline for submissions.

Known less formally as the "neighborhood grant program," the commission is prepared to offer a maximum of $500 in three categories: neighborhood association infrastructure, diversity awareness and age-friendly initiative. That particular category changes once a year; last year, the effort involved making the city "greener," said Lori Trego, personnel director and assistant to the city manager.

"We recognized a few years back that a quarter of our population is over the age of 55," commission chairman Eddie Pauline said. "Worthington has the highest density of seniors in central Ohio, so given that density and percentage of our population that is in that category, we started at looking at programming around it through the Community Relations Commission."

The commission, however, gave itself more flexibility by removing the cap on the categories, "so we could have more flexibility in awarding a really dynamic project in a more meaningful way," Pauline said.

In other words, a lights-out proposal could get the entire $1,500, but that is unlikely, Trego said.

Application forms and completed submissions may be submitted via worthington.org. Submission also may be dropped off at the Worthington Municipal Building, 6550 N. High St.

"Applicants should be representatives of an existing (or forming) neighborhood association or community organization or individuals or groups who are building programs to benefit the Worthington community or individual neighborhoods," according to Trego.

Trego said the CRC has been providing disbursements through the neighborhood grant program since 2008.

"The original focus on neighborhoods was expanded in the last few years to include the entire Worthington community, hence the program is now called the Neighborhood and Community Development Seed Grant," she said.

gseman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekGary