(Posted Oct. 15, 2020)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
The Madison County Senior Citizens Center, based in London and serving all of Madison County, is seeking renewal of a levy that accounts for approximately 95 percent of its operating budget.
The request appears on the Nov. 3 general election ballot. The center is asking voters to renew a 0.8-mill levy for five years. The levy has been renewed three times previously. The measure generates $713,993 per year and costs the taxpayer $16.84 per year per $100,000 of property valuation.
“Our existence is based on our levy. It is our lifeline,” said Misty Bradley, executive director.
The center offers a wide array of services. Anyone 60 and older and a resident of Madison County can take advantage of transportation, homemaking, adult day center programming and respite care, among other services. Anyone 55 and older, regardless of where they live, can participate in center activities, such as exercise classes, quilting, wood carving, line dancing, bingo, Friday afternoon movies, and painting classes.
Wellness clinics, support groups, foot care and hearing aid care are all part of the center’s menu of options. Additionally, the center organizes travel excursions near and far.
“There’s a lot that goes on here,” Bradley said.
While the center could use a little more money for operations, she said, the center’s governing board chose not to ask for additional funds with this levy request.
“We try to be really careful with our funds. A lot of the time, if we’re doing extra things, we reach out to the community for donations and have been successful with that,” Bradley said.
One example is the center’s new shelter house which is slated to be completed in the next couple of weeks. Stanley Electric in London stepped up with a donation to make the project happen.
The center goes after grants whenever it can. Recently, grants from the Ohio Department of Transportation allowed the center to replace two of its transportation vans.
Plus, a rate modification made in 2014 is making it possible for the center to pay off its mortgage in the next year or two, three to four years ahead of schedule.
“We do these kinds of things so we don’t have to go back and ask for more money from taxpayers,” Bradley said, adding that she is appreciative of voters’ ongoing support of the center.
She noted that this year has been challenging as the center remains closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier this month–based on a spike in COVID-19 cases, Madison County’s health advisory level, and the upcoming flu season–the board made the decision to remain closed until January.
“It was a very tough decision. This is a place to keep people active, and our members are used to being on the go. They are struggling,” Bradley said. “I am most heartbroken about our adult day center, but we have to protect them. We have to protect everybody.”
As has been the case throughout the pandemic, the center continues to offer limited services, including transportation and drive-up lunches through its Senior Cafe.
The Madison County Senior Citizens Center is located at 280 W. High St., London. For more information, call (740) 852-3001.