The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper


        On Nov. 6, Oregon voters will decide whether to renew the .5 mill local senior levy.

        The levy originally passed on Nov. 5, 2013, to provide funding for senior services from 2014 to 2018. The levy was passed for the purpose of providing additional funds for senior services in the city.

        Mayor Mike Seferian said he believes the public will support the renewal because of the demand for services at the senior center.

        This year, the city is looking at a couple of major projects, including improvements to the senior center building, and its parking lot.

        City Administrator Mike Beazley said there is much more activity at the senior center than in the previous facility, an old water pumping station on Bayshore Road.



        The levy was the source of controversy in 2013 after it was learned by The Press that levy campaign officials from the senior center had misinformed voters about a supposed shortage in funding it received from Oregon and Lucas County. Lucas County communities, including Oregon, have been paying for a county senior levy for years. The Area Office on Aging of Northwestern Ohio, Inc., has distributed a percentage of revenue from the county levy to Oregon senior services. Among the beneficiaries was the senior center, which received over $60,000 annually from the levy. The senior center at the time had failed to use all the funds from the county levy because it had been underperforming in providing contracted services to seniors.

        After the levy passed, some residents were unaware they would be paying for both a local senior levy and a county senior levy. As a result, Oregon had considered not collecting the revenue generated by the local levy.


Expanded services

        Since then, however, the city has expanded senior services. The city also made good on a pledge to find a more central location for a new senior center. Previous administrations had promised to relocate the senior center from Bayshore Road, but had failed to deliver. In 2014, the city purchased a building on Navarre Avenue near Pearson Metropark for the new senior center.

        Seferian and Beazley have stated that the levy revenue has been put to good use and will continue to fund senior programs as the local population ages.

        The city draws down the county levy dollars first before local levy revenue is spent, according to Bealzey. The goal was to make sure the city did not supplant dollars already being provided by the county, and to expand services.



        About $20,000 to $30,000 of revenue is earmarked for “Chore” program services for seniors living at home. It provides cleaning assistance and other chores like lawn mowing to help seniors stay in their homes longer rather than go into assisted living or nursing homes.

        The city expects Chore to grow. Transportation for seniors also continues to be in great demand.

        “Most Oregon seniors and their families benefit from the investment of the levy,” Beazley told The Press last week. “They rely on Chore services, transportation to doctors’ appointments, and an expansion of services at the senior center. We think it works for Oregon.”

        The city had originally expected revenue from the local levy to generate about $190,000 annually. It is now estimated to generate $225,000 per year.



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