Middletown Ohio


Find us on
 Google+ and Facebook


 

Home | Yearly News Archive | Advertisers | Blog | Contact Us
Wednesday, February 22, 2017
FORUM CITY SCHOOLS COMMUNITY
  New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - Senior organization wants levy renewal
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login


Senior organization wants levy renewal

 Post Reply Post Reply
Author
Vivian Moon View Drop Down
MUSA Council
MUSA Council


Joined: May 16 2008
Location: Middletown, Ohi
Status: Offline
Points: 4155
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vivian Moon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Senior organization wants levy renewal
    Posted: Dec 31 2016 at 10:34am

Middletown senior organization wants levy renewal

Mike Rutledge

Staff Writer

9:00 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 31, 2016  Middletown

MIDDLETOWN

Central Connections, which provides home-delivered meals, transportation and independent-living help to older Middletown-area residents, hopes to put a tax-levy renewal on the May ballot to help pay off the mortgage on its building at 3909 Central Ave.

The organization will need “yes” votes from 4 of 5 members of Middletown City Council on Tuesday to take a step toward placing the issue on the May ballot. That’s because to meet tight deadlines the issue will be placed before the council as an emergency matter, requiring more than the usual majority vote.

Central Connections serves not only senior residents, but also others who are 50 or older, and calls itself a lifeline for many in the Middletown area, keeping many of them in their homes.

It provides nearly 10,500 home-delivered meals a month to people, 84.4 percent of them in Middletown zip codes; an average of 1,094 essential trips a month (88.5 percent to people in Middletown zip codes); and independent-living help to an average of 28 clients per month, 95.4 percent of them in Middletown zip codes.

Central Connections, which provides home-delivered meals, transportation and independent-living help to older Middletown-area residents, hopes to put a tax-levy renewal on the May ballot to help pay off the mortgage on its building at 3909 Central Ave. STAFF FILE/2015 Staff Writer

Richard “Dick” Isroff, a board member, finance committee member and co-chairman of the levy committee, told council Dec. 20 the levy renewal is needed because of budget cuts that have cost the organization $450,000 in annual funding from Butler County.

“Unfortunately, through the county, we’ve lost over $450,000 worth of annual income,” Isroff said. “That $450,000 prevents us from being able to complete our goal, which was to be able to pay off our mortgage.”

About $1,260,000 remains on the mortgage, Isroff said.

“This levy will take us out of debt, pay off our mortgage, and do something that everybody needs when you have a major facility, which is create a sinking fund for future security of our building,” Isroff said. “So what we’d like today is just to ask you to let the citizens of Middletown make that decision, and ask you to let us put this on the ballot, and let us find out where the citizens stand, and how they feel about our senior citizens’ organization.”

City Manager Doug Adkins said his administration might have difficulty meeting deadlines necessary to place the matter on the May ballot. Adkins also said Middletown has some of the highest property taxes in the state.

Tax rates already high

“We’ve also talked a little bit about being the highest effective tax rate for property taxes in Ohio,” Adkins told council members. “I’m not saying that to sway your decision either way, other than the levy falling off does help us in that manner. So services versus property taxes, it’s one of those situations, I’m not sure there’s a right answer. It’s more the view of council on how they would like to move forward.”

Some council members seemed wary of renewing the five-year levy, which expires in late 2017. In Talbott Moon’s case, that’s partly because of the high tax rates, and partly because even more funding cuts from Ohio’s state government may be on the way.

In response to Adkins’ comment about Middletown’s high property-tax rates, Moon said: “Both options seem to be not great options.”

Isroff predicted: “We’ll be self-sustaining after this renewal.”

But Moon noted: “The governor has already come out and said it’s going to be another lean budget,” and added he fears “we’re going to be having the same conversation in five years.”

Isroff responded: “You have a crystal ball?”

And Moon replied: “Yeah, I don’t. I know.”

Moon also said: “I’ll say here what I said when we met privately, that whether this council decides to put it on the ballot or not, in our economic system, people vote every day with the non-profits they give to and … where they spend their dollars. That needs to be a major factor.”

A safe place

Monica Smith, executive director of Central Connections, called the center a “safe place” that connects people with the outside world and meals, and improves their quality of life by allowing them to remain in their homes.

“This is a safe place for the senior citizens of Middletown to come,” she said, adding: “We’ve grown our catering and our rentals” to raise money for services the organization provides.

“I have someone who’s here every single day for a meal,” Smith said. “This is her only hot meal — she has an aide who comes with her — and this is her only time to socialize. This is her bright spot.”

Recently, Smith said, that woman “got robbed. They came in. She had a little stash. She gets $125 in food stamps a month. And people had gone together and gotten her gift cards. They stole all her gift cards, all her cash. She came in and couldn’t pay her ($50-per-year) membership fee, and was just distraught.”

Given the circumstances, her fee was waived, and extra meals were boxed up for her.

“That’s just one story,” Smith said. “I have a gentleman who told me this is his life. His wife has passed away. This is where he comes. So that’s why the building itself is important, and people feel safe. We have adult children who drop their parents off here, and they’re here all day. And we’re not an adult daycare, but where else would these people go if they did not have the senior center to come to? And we keep them independent (and able to remain in their homes).”

“The monies that we get from the levy strictly have gone toward paying off the mortgage, and people say, ‘Well, what if you just move to another building?’” Smith said. “Well, the purpose of building this building was we outgrew the last building.”

“There are a lot of things that need to operate out of this building,” Smith said. Without a levy’s passage, “There’s a lot of different things that we will look at to try to save this building and save the things that go on in this building.”

“All we are asking is that we let the voters decide — we let the citizens of Middletown decide — and at least get it on the ballot,” Smith said.

 

Back to Top
spiderjohn View Drop Down
Prominent MUSA Citizen
Prominent MUSA Citizen
Avatar

Joined: Jul 01 2007
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 2198
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote spiderjohn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec 31 2016 at 11:32am
IMO ballot/levy issues should never be emergencies, esp at year end.
If they didn't have it together enough to give notice---
Didn't they do the same thing last time, creating a lot of last minute drama?

All that said-- it is a nice positive place and much needed.
They don't seem to ever have enough $$ and must have over-paid for the property.
Back to Top
whistlersmom View Drop Down
MUSA Immigrant
MUSA Immigrant
Avatar

Joined: Mar 11 2016
Status: Offline
Points: 39
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote whistlersmom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec 31 2016 at 6:21pm
"Central Connections, which provides home-delivered meals, transportation and independent-living help to older Middletown-area residents, hopes to put a tax-levy renewal on the May ballot to help pay off the mortgage on its building at 3909 Central Ave.”

We should have a nice place for seniors, but 3909 Central Ave. was overbuilt and a waste of local tax payers money. Remember that the senior building downtown (the one that council gave away and recently bought back) and all of the “home-delivered meals, transportation and independent-living help to older Middletown-area residents” was paid for by the Federal Government. The Feds are still paying for everything except the new building that was built on the backs of local taxpayers. How stupid to build and pay for a new building with local tax dollars when the Feds had paid for the old senior building with Federal money. This tax-levy would only be to pay off their overblown mortgage, not for any services for seniors. One more reason that we pay the highest property taxes in the state.
This tax-levy is just another bail-out of a city government with champagne taste and a beer budget.
Back to Top
Just wondering View Drop Down
Outsider
Outsider
Avatar

Joined: May 14 2013
Status: Offline
Points: 4
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Just wondering Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 03 2017 at 4:10pm
Just a few thoughts concerning the senior levy renewal.
First:  The correct address for the Senior Center ( Central Connections ) is 3907 Central Ave, not 3909 which is the annex building in the rear.
Second: If I remember correctly the original levy was calculated to generate enough money to pay off the mortgage only in 5 years. 
Third: Can the funds be legally used for other purposes?
Fourth: Why the renewal request now?
Please correct me if I'm wrong.
Inquiring minds want to know.
Back to Top
swohio75 View Drop Down
MUSA Citizen
MUSA Citizen


Joined: Jun 13 2008
Status: Offline
Points: 705
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote swohio75 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 05 2017 at 1:58pm
MASC purchased the former John 23rd property in 2002 --15 years ago.--at $850,000.  The main building need to be demo'ed as well as site preparation for the new structure. The new building was opened in 2007, or almost 10 years ago.   According to the article, the mortgage balance is $1,260,000.  There is approx. 5.5 acres of property not being used by the seniors that they have tried to sell for residential development--how much of paying off the mortgage was dependent on the sale of this property?  

The article mentions that $450k was lost in state funding that has kept them from being able to pay off the mortgage as anticipated.  The article failed to mention the senior center also recently lost Oaks Community Church as a tenant--would be curious to know the impact of this on operations and the next to renew the levy.

Where's the annual report for this organization that details revenue and expenses?  Where's the accountability?

There should have been a more formal presentation by the Executive Director of the center at the Council meeting versus a volunteer board member begging for the renewal.  No offense to Dick Isroff, but he looked very unprepared and it's not his place.  

A new ED was hired early in 2016.  Where was she to make the case? 

http://www.journal-news.com/news/local/middletown-central-connections-under-new-leadership/za8PDClPP5Sv1vASo6Lq8I/   

Back to Top
Vivian Moon View Drop Down
MUSA Council
MUSA Council


Joined: May 16 2008
Location: Middletown, Ohi
Status: Offline
Points: 4155
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vivian Moon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 09 2017 at 5:18pm
swohio75
Don't forget that AK Steel gave them a million dollar grant toward the building of this new senior citizens center.
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down



This page was generated in 0.221 seconds.
Copyright ©2017 MiddletownUSA.com    Privacy Statement  |   Terms of Use  |   Site by Xponex Media  |   Advertising Information