We are asking the voters of Meigs County to support our request for an operating levy. Going back to 1993, they have voted overwhelmingly in favor of our senior services levy. This time we are combining the current 1.1 and .5 mil levies into one that is 1.6 mil. The 1.1 and .5 will expire and the new 1.6 will take their place.
Levy dollars are used to provide programs and services that promote “aging in place” and healthy aging.
The levy funds are used to provide Meals on Wheels, the senior lunch program at the center, nutrition education, transportation, homemaker, and laundry services for those who are 60 and over.
Levy dollars are also used as the match money for the federal and state funds that we receive for our traditional services and as match for foundation grants. There is a bit of levy money in every service that we provide and in some instances the levy money is the only funding source for a service.
Our Supportive Services is one example of a totally funded levy service. Providing assistance with bill paying, Medicare enrollment, checkbook balancing, living wills, durable healthcare power of attorney and information & referral are all part of our levy funded Supportive Services program.
All of our programs are designed to enable older adults to remain independent and living in their own homes for as long as they can safely do so. The wellness center equipment and classes help people maintain or improve their physical functioning which is vital to remaining independent. We are frequently the place where seniors come to recover from a fall, stroke or other physical impairment when their Medicare or insurance benefits for rehabilitation is exhausted. Our senior nutrition programs are designed to meet 1/3 of the recommended daily allowance of nutrients to help maintain or improve a senior’s nutrition. Trips to the doctor, pharmacy and to run errands contributes to independent living and homemaker services help to keep a clean and safe living environment. We can provide an older adult with 5 hot meals a week, 2 hours of homemaker a week, and 2 transportation trips a month for less than $5000 a year. That is a small price for care when compared to institutional placement.
Levy dollars are also used to support our volunteer program which provides older adults with opportunities to contribute to the community.
One thing levy dollars are NOT doing is renovating the former Middleport High School. That project is proceeding with funding from grants, donations and earned income. We are not using tax money for this project.
Levy dollars have always been used to support programs and services. The request for services is growing along with the number of older adults living in the county. We rely on the support of the voters to remain able and ready to meet the needs of our seniors. Because of the overwhelming support we receive from the voters, the businesses, county government, our donors and volunteers we have been able to provide care without the waiting lists that exist in other counties. Please help us care for our older adults by voting yes for our senior services levy.
Beth Shaver is the executive director of the Meigs County Council on Aging.