Senior Enrichment Services OK'd for 'current expenses' levy

Cary Ashby • Jun 8, 2018 at 9:00 AM

The Huron County commissioners have approved Senior Enrichment Services (SES) to have a continuing operations levy on the November ballot.

“The voters have been very good to us for 45 years and we are very appreciative of their support,” SES Executive Director Roxanne Sandles said.

If the .6-mill levy passes, it would cost the owner of a $100,000 home $16.54 each year. Also according to the county auditor’s office, the current cost is $14.77 per year.

“We will be collecting $612,578 (annually); that’s between 35 and 40 percent of our budget,” Sandles said. “This is for current operations only.”

When looking at one’s tax bill, she said the SES tax is listed as “other.”

Commissioner Terry Boose said the tax is a .55-mill levy plus an additional .05 mill “altogether on one levy.”

“This is not for their new building. This is just (for) operations of their current expenses,” he added.

Sandles said SES decided not to ask for a replacement levy because there would be too large of a jump in the money being collected.

“We are not a county agency. We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization,” she added.

The first SES levy passed in 1994.

“We have had a couple replacements and renewals since then,” Sandles said. “We are still collecting on 2003 valuation.”

Here is what the SES levy supplements:

• Three food programs (Meals on Wheels, home-delivered meals and in-house dining)

• Senior Express, which provides transportation for people ages 60 and older with limited mobility

• Chores/light housekeeping program in Norwalk

• Medicare assistance

• Age exchange program, an intergenerational program which partners seniors with third-grade students

• Project Lifesaver, in which SES partners with the Huron County Sheriff’s Office and Board of DD for the rapid location and return of elderly residents who are prone to wandering

“We are serving about 300 meals a day in the county Monday through Friday,” Sandles said, referring to the three food programs.

SES staff members handle seven routes in Huron County for the home-delivered meals, while volunteers take care of the five Meals on Wheels routes in Norwalk.

Sandles said Senior Express covered almost 157,900 miles in 2017.

“We just ask for donations,” she said.

In the age exchange program, seniors work with third-grade students to do activities such as homework.

“We pick up the students at their school and bring them here. They are escorted home,” Sandles said.

The SES levy also supplements the various programs and activities.

“You don’t have to be a senior to come to the center and enjoy those activities,” Sandles said.

The Norwalk center is located at 130 Shady Lane Drive and the Willard facility is at 315 E. Tiffin Street.

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