Voters approve senior services levies by highest margins ever
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
With voter renewal of two senior services levies on November 8, Southwestern Ohio continues its tradition as a region with one of the strongest support systems for older adults in the country.
In Clinton County, voters renewed a 1.5-mill levy by a margin of 75.99 percent and in Warren County, voters renewed a 1.21-mill levy by a margin of 75.82 percent.
“Voters have once again shown their compassion for older adults in their communities who need help to remain independent in their homes,” said Council on Aging President and CEO Suzanne Burke. “I think people are proud of their longstanding record of support for seniors.”
Both levies provide about 90 percent of the funding for county Elderly Services Programs (ESP). The programs provide in-home care services to frail seniors, such as home-delivered meals, medical transportation, homemaking, and personal care. They serve seniors of modest means who are not eligible for Medicaid-funded services (for low income people), but cannot afford to pay for services on their own. The average income of seniors on the program is about $22,000 a year.
The Clinton County ESP serves about 450 seniors annually; Waren County ESP serves about 2,500.
Southwestern Ohio counties have supported senior services levies for 34 years, ever since the first levy was approved in Clermont County in 1982. Ten years later, voters approved the first levy in Hamilton County and first levies followed in Butler County (1996), Clinton County (1998) and Warren County (2002). Each levy must be approved by voters every five years in order for the Elderly Services Program to continue.
Butler County’s levy passed by a margin of 74.4 percent in November 2015. Hamilton County’s levy is expected to be on a ballot in 2017.
Council on Aging manages the levy programs via contracts with county commissioners in Butler, Clinton, Hamilton, and Warren counties. The Clermont County levy is managed by Clermont Senior Services.