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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Countdown to November 8: Two levy campaigns in full swing

a levy volunteer at a honk in for the Elderly Services levy

Volunteers for the senior services levies in Clinton and Warren counties have been working hard in the final weeks before Election Day 2016.

In Warren County, they’re identifying street corner locations to stage the popular levy campaign tradition known as the Honk-In. On November 4, levy supporters will be stationed at busy intersections, holding signs and waving at motorists to honk their support for seniors. We suspect a few volunteers won’t be able to resist wearing their Halloween costumes.

The Warren County volunteers have logged dozens of speaking engagements where they have been met with broad support for the levy. They’re also working to distribute 1,500 yard signs and additional large signs. A campaign postcard, bearing a photo of long-time Warren County residents Maynard and Stella Hagemeyer, will be mailed in mid-October to 50,000 residents.

“It is so wonderful to see how much the Elderly Services Program means to people,” said Polly Doran, Council on Aging’s Government Relations Manager and volunteer co-chair of the campaign’s Grassroots Committee. “We hear all the time things like, ‘This program made a huge difference in my parents’ lives,’ or ‘My grandma wanted to stay in her home until she died and she did because of help from this program.’”

Warren County Commissioner and honorary campaign chair Pat South has gathered endorsements from nearly 90 people and made collages of their photos which have been posted to the “Help Our Elderly” Facebook page.

Warren County Community Services, Inc. has gathered sponsors for a publication that will be distributed county-wide in the near future and will include a story and photos about the levy program.

Issue 16 on the ballot in Warren County is a renewal of the senior services levy. The 1.21-mill, five-year levy will not increase taxes. The cost to homeowners for 2017 will be $34.18 per $100,000 of property value.

The levy provides about 90 percent of the funding for Warren County’s Elderly Services Program. The program serves 2,500 seniors (age 60 and older) annually, providing basic, but critical services such as home-delivered meals, medical transportation, help with housekeeping and bathing, adult day services and more.

In Clinton County, volunteers will soon be distributing yard signs and mailing information cards about the levy. Clinton County’s 1.5-mill, five-year levy will be a flat renewal and will not increase taxes. The cost to homeowners will be $37.67 per $100,000 of property value.

The levy provides 88 percent of the funding for Clinton County’s Elderly Services Program. Annually, the program serves more than 430 seniors (age 65 and older), providing basic, but critical services such as home-delivered meals, medical transportation, help with housekeeping and bathing, adult day services and more.

“The people of Clinton and Warren counties have reason to be proud of the support they have shown for their older residents,” said Council on Aging President and CEO Suzanne Burke. “Both levies have been successful for more than a decade. If it were not for the services these levies provide, many seniors would have to leave the homes and communities they love and move into nursing homes. Over the years, thousands of seniors in both counties have been able to live out their days in their own homes because of the Elderly Services Program. Because in-home care is so much less expensive than nursing homes, the levies are win-wins for seniors and taxpayers alike.”

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