County residents will vote on a Greene County Council on Aging 1-mill levy renewal and .4 mills increase May 6 that would be used to cover services for the elderly, including meal preparation and delivery, personal care and emergency response systems.
If passed, the levy would mark the first increase within the county since the health district increased its .5 mill levy by .3 mills in 2011, according to Greene County Auditor’s Office data.
The 1-mill levy is set to expire at the end of the year, and it costs a $100,000 homeowner $30.62 per year. Combined, the levy renewal and increase would cost the same homeowner $44.62 annually, according to county auditor estimates.
“Less than 3 percent of the budget is for administration,” said Greene County Council on Aging Director Karen Puterbaugh. “Most of the money goes for programs and people.”
The Greene County Council on Aging is a non-profit organization that provides quality of life and independent living services and programs for seniors and caregivers. The levy accounts for 93 percent of the organizations’s income, according to council data. The organization’s expenses are expected to increase about 49 percent over five years from $4.5 million in 2014 to $6.7 million in 2019.
Puterbaugh told county commissioners, during a meeting in December where more than 70 people crowded into the county commission board auditorium, that the levy increase was necessary because the county’s older population, age 60 and above, is expected to increase by 16 percent over a five-year period starting in 2015.
In addition to a growing aging population, the number of seniors receiving services through the council’s largest program has increased 46 percent since 2009 when the current levy passed, according to information from the council.
Gloria Allen, a 54-year-old Beavercreek resident, has used council on aging services since 2012. Through the program, she is able to afford to have someone come in and help with taking care of her father-in-law who lives with her.
“It’s too expensive to have somebody to come in,” Allen said. “That, and you don’t know who’s going to come in if you don’t go through somebody. Greene County (Council on Aging) finds the people for you and sends them in.”