2008-02-23 / Editorials & Letters

One more Letter: Senior levy building program could hurt local programs

Editor:

We have great concerns about the proposed $13,500,000 Bond Issue for Licking County Aging to construct two large senior citizen centers.

If this .3 mill levy for 20 years passes, Zerger Hall in Newark will be demolished and replaced with an $8 million facility and Pataskala will get a $4 million building. Nice for them, but where does that leave the seniors out in the county?

In 2007, the senior levy generated $2,933,568.45 distributed among 25 county agencies. Licking County Aging received $2,066,422.00 leaving $867,146.45 going to Alexandria, Brownsville, Buckeye Lake, Granville, Hebron, Lima Township, Summit Seniors, Licking Valley, Catholic Social Services, LEADS and others.

These two extravagant facilities will require an operation and maintenance budget. How will that affect the existing funding of these small senior groups around the county? Licking County Aging already uses 71% of the funding.

Will Buckeye Lake Seniors still get their annual $7,500 and Hebron 55+ Club receive their $2,700 appropriation? It seems reasonable that these small groups could suffer if building maintenance becomes a priority.

What other options have been investigated to spread out the services to existing facilities that have commercial kitchens such as churches or community centers?

Why not give other groups the opportunity to generate income by partnering with the Meals on Wheels program?

When voting on this senior tax issue, consider WHICH seniors are you supporting- the residents of Newark and Pataskala or ALL seniors countywide? More affordable options are available that could still provide the needed services. Judie Cook and Peggy Wells Buckeye Lake

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