• 32°

Supporters ramping up campaign for senior levy

Now that it is on the ballot, the next step is to lay out the reasons why the county needs to have a 1-Mil levy to support senior services, its supporters say.

That campaign strategy will focus on educating the voters on the programs, their costs and their need in the county, according to Ralph Kline, assistant director of the Ironton-Lawrence County Community Action Organization.

Recently the levy was certified to go on the November ballot. It is estimated to bring in approximately $810,000 a year for five years.

It would fund at least five projects: senior medical transportation; home meals expansion; congregate meals at sites; senior and para transit transportation and home health care.

“We would like to start after Labor Day doing some education. What are the needs and demands, what kind of services are there,” Kline said. “We want to make sure people know the facts.”

Earlier in the year a 14-member senior advisory committee was established that prioritized programs allocating the amount of funds from the levy for each.

An increase in the county’s senior population combined with funding cuts on the state and federal levels has prompted the need for the levy, according to the plan created by the advisory committee.

The levy is expected to cost about $35 annually on a property with a market value of $100,000.

“We will continue to offer senior services but the level will be affected,” Kline said. “Right now we are running into major gaps with the cuts coming from senior programs.”

That coupled with the growing demand for senior services because of the aging of the Baby Boomer segment of the population makes the levy vital, Kline said.

“Our major problem in Lawrence County is we have not had a levy,” he said. “Up to now we have been piecing it together from different grant sources and other sources. But you can only do that so long.”

Committee representatives plan to go out to service clubs and to senior centers to explain the need.

“We are going to any meetings where we get invited and there is a senior fair scheduled,” Kline said. “We want to do education to let people know what it will cost them and what it will be used for. Hopefully the voters will make that decision.”

Information about the levy, including the advisory committee’s plan, can be found on www.lawrencecountyseniors.org.