Funding for senior services up for vote

By D. Anthony Botkin - [email protected]

Delaware County voters will soon decide whether or not to renew a 1.2-mill levy, along with an increase of 0.1 mill, for senior citizens services and facilities offered at SourcePoint, 800 Cheshire Road, Delaware.

In January, SourcePoint Executive Director Robert Horrocks approached county commissioners to place the renewal and increase on the May 8 election ballot.

The current 1.2-mill levy, set to expire at the end of the year, was approved by voters in 2013.

According to SourcePoint’s Chief Operating Officer Kimberly Clewell, the 1.2-mill levy currently costs approximately $32.13 per year for $100,000 of property valuation, which will not change since it’s a renewal.

According to Horrocks, the 0.1-mill increase will be a new tax of $3.50 for $100,000 of property valuation, which amounts to “less than one penny a day.”

Horrocks added the senior adult population is currently the fastest growing segment in Delaware County, which he said is a good thing. He said an older population “provides a sense of stability” because most older adults are healthy, financially secure, engaged in the community, and pay sales tax, property taxes and income taxes.

But, Horrocks said there is a subset of the senior population in need of support to keep living safe and secure in their own homes. He gave an example of SourcePoint’s average client as being female, 79-years-old, widowed, and living alone at home.

“The fastest growing part of the population is 85 years and older,” he told commissioners in January. “As we age, there is the greater likelihood of having a moderate or severe disability.”

Horrocks said when people are faced with the larger health issues, they begin to question their best course of action, which in the past meant being placed in a nursing home.

“Today, we have excellent services and an excellent system,” he said. “As the older population continues to age, it could seem like a huge challenge, but because of the foresight of our community, we’ve solved that problem.”

According to SourcePoint literature, at the current rate of growth, the older adult population is expected to reach 58,802 in 2020 and 82,015 by 2030.

SourcePoint “provided in-home care to more than 1,600 older adults in 2017” with a budget of “$9.6 million” that is 80 percent funded by the levy tax dollars. Other sources of funding dollars are stated as coming from grants, donations, service fees, sponsorships and more.

“That is what our levy is all about,” Horrocks told commissioners. If the levy is passed by the voters, we’ll be able to say to our community we’re good until 2023 to continue to keep our promise that we made 25 years ago. That promise was no waiting list for in-home care services and that we would try our very best to use this money in the best interest of our older population and our community.”

Horrocks said today, the county has a coordinated system of services and care for the needs of the senior population, but the community needs to keep pace with the growth.

The ballot language states, “A renewal of 1.2 mills and an increase of 0.1 mill to constitute a tax for the benefit of Delaware County, Ohio for the purpose of providing services for senior citizens through SourcePoint (formerly known as the Council for Older Adults), including but not limited to, home delivered meals, transportation, in-home care, caregiver support and adult day care, at a rate not exceeding 1.3 mills for each one dollar of valuation, which amounts to $0.13 for each one hundred dollars of valuation, for 5 years, commencing in 2018, first due in calendar year 2019.”

A majority vote in the affirmative is necessary for the passage of the 1.2-mill renewal and its 0.1-mill increase.

By D. Anthony Botkin

[email protected]

Contact D. Anthony Botkin at 740-413-0902. Follow him on Twitter @dabotkin.

Contact D. Anthony Botkin at 740-413-0902. Follow him on Twitter @dabotkin.