Violet Township seeks renewal levy for Pickerington Senior Center

Violet Township voters on Nov. 8 will be asked to support the renewal of a five-year, 0.2-mill levy to maintain services and facilities for the Pickerington Senior Center.

The first levy renewal request is the first since May 2018 when a five-year, 0.2-mill levy passed 4,304 votes to 1,525 votes, or 70 percent to 30 percent.

Because it's a renewal, the levy would not result in an increase in taxes for local voters but would continue the tax stream provided to the senior center by the previous levy, according to Violet Township Fiscal Officer Vanessa Niekamp.

She said it would generate approximately $227,000 per year and would cost homeowners $20 per $100,000 of home value as assessed by the Fairfield County Auditor's Office.

"The senior center provides the following activities: travel, social programs, monthly luncheon, card games, strength/physical activities, bingo, crafts/art classes and dancing," Niekamp said.

According to Nancy Lee, senior center director, the senior center has 852 members.

Niekamp said the renewal is needed to maintain services and the upkeep of the facility at 150 Hereford Drive.

"The building and grounds are owned by Violet Township, but the senior center is not operated by Violet Township," Niekamp said. "The program is run by a nonprofit organization, which employs Lee and others to run programing.

"Violet Township leases the building at no cost to the nonprofit organization and provides a grant to them using senior program levy funds to the Pickerington Senior Center, but the organization nor the employees are under the management of Violet Township."

According to Niekamp, the levy provides about $166,600 annually for the senior center, in addition grant funding for several programs. That includes $9,000 annually for Fairfield County Meals on Wheels, $15,000 annually for the Pickerington Food Pantry, $12,500 for Lancaster-Fairfield Public Transit and $5,000 a year for senior medic services provided by the Violet Township Fire Department.

About 80% of the direct funding provided by the levy, or $132,600 annually, goes to senior center administrative and staff salaries, Niekamp said.

Another $13,500 per year, or 8% of the levy funds, go toward utilities for the building, while $10,500 (6%) per year goes toward supplies and $10,000 per year (6%) goes toward building repairs and maintenance, she said.

The cost of membership to the senior center is $13 per year, Niekamp said.

"We offer a large selection of activities such as strength, balance and exercise programs, line dancing, rock steady boxing curriculum, cornhole, chair volleyball, shuffleboard, watercolor classes, arts and crafts, bingo, euchre, bridge and monthly classic movie matinees," said Doug Hoek, Pickerington Senior Center Board of Directors president. "We have a well-stocked library with books, videos and games. We also have luncheons, parties, and both day trips and extended trips.

"The socialization gained while participating in these activities is beneficial to maintaining the mental and physical health of our seniors. The levy provides the funds needed for us to run the Pickerington Senior Center. We would not be able to continue providing the above services without the levy money."


This article originally appeared on ThisWeek: Violet Township seeks renewal levy for Pickerington Senior Center