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May 6, 2014 primary election: Issue 3 supports village seniors

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The 2014 primary election will take place on Tuesday, May 6. The polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. The polling location is Antioch University Midwest (formerly McGregor), 900 Dayton St. for village precincts 440, 441, 442, 443 and Miami Township precinct 456 (west). For voters in township precinct 455 (east), polling is at Cedarville Grace Baptist Church, 109 N. Main Street in Cedarville.

Also appearing on the May 6 ballot is State Issue 1, a proposed constitutional amendment to allow the state to issue up to $1.875 billion in bonds over 10 years to finance public infrastructure improvements on projects such as roads and bridges, water and waste water treatment systems, solid waste disposal facilities, and storm water and sanitary collection, storage and treatment facilities.

See also “Restaurant seeks liquor option”

Issue 3 supports village seniors

Issue 3, the senior services levy on the May 6 ballot, will, if passed, provide funding to help about 30 older villagers stay in their own homes by ensuring regular meals, homemaker services and visits. The levy would also allow the center to continue its current array of transportation, wellness and social services, along with the packed schedule of activities that served 800 local seniors last year.

The Yellow Springs Senior Center would receive about $100,000, or 35 percent of its operating budget, if the levy passes, according to Executive Director Karen Wolford last week.

The five-year, 1.4 mill senior services levy is a renewal and 0.4 mill increase, which will cost homeowners about $14 yearly per $100,000 valuation of their homes. The senior services levy will provide about $890,000 to the Greene County Council on Aging.

The county-wide levy funds the Partners in Care program of the Council on Aging, which allows 10 county centers, including that in Yellow Springs, to provide caregiver support, community education and guidance regarding Medicare and other insurance, along with many other services. Last fall, about 200 local seniors received help with Medicare enrollment at the center, Wolford said.

The levy also allows the Council to provide, county-wide, 57,000 meals annually, 53,000 hours of homemaking services and 15,800 hours of personal care, according to the Council’s web site.

One villager receiving local senior center services is Maxine Jones, whose family has lived in Yellow Springs for seven generations. At 88, Maxine has mobility problems due to vascular disease, but with a little help, she can stay in her longtime home on Livermore Street, two doors down from where she grew up.

According to Jalyn Jones-Roe, Maxine’s daughter, her mother receives Meals on Wheels five days a week and housekeeping services twice a week, provided via the Senior Center and funded by the Greene County Council on Aging. But Maxine receives much more than simply meals and housekeeping, according to Jones-Roe; who said it’s her mother’s interactions with the caring people who deliver these services that makes the difference.

“The gentleman with Meals on Wheels doesn’t just drop off the meals, he talks and laughs with her,” Jones-Roe said, stating that the visiting homemaker also makes a point of interacting with her mother. “That interaction is so very special. The people go beyond the job and really give to the person they’re serving.”

The need for senior services will only grow, as the population in Yellow Springs is aging. Currently, about 35 percent of villagers are 55 and older; that percentage will increase to 55 percent by the year 2015, Wolford said.

“We’re the fastest growing aging community in Greene County,” she said.

But Greene County is aging as well. The percentage of people who are 65 and older will grow 17 percent between 2010 and 2015, and by almost 36 percent by 2020, according to the website of the Council on Aging, which also provides a clearinghouse for specialized information about seniors and educational programs.

“We have something special with the Greene County Council on Aging,” Jones- Roe said.

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