Two county millage renewal requests and an additional renewal request in White Pigeon Township were approved during Tuesday’s primary election.
The countywide votes saw the St. Joseph County Commission on Aging earn a six-year renewal of three-quarters of a mill. In addition, three-quarters of a mill renewal for six years was granted to the county E-911 central dispatch.
Both renewals, which passed with support from about 75 percent of voters, were for basic operations and will generate about $1.1 million annually for each entity.
Meanwhile, White Pigeon Township Library will continue to receive about $60,000 a year for four years starting in 2013, after voters in its jurisdiction agreed to renew three-tenths of a mill.
The request was approved by a 4-to-1 margin.
The St. Joseph County Commission on Aging (COA) has approved a new, five-year lease with the City of Three Rivers for the Three Rivers Community Center.
The Community Center, located at 103 South Douglas Avenue, has been the headquarters for the COA in recent years and that will continue until at least 2017 with authorization given last week (July 18) by the COA Board to sign the new lease agreement.
In reporting on the matter, COA Executive Director Lynn Coursey said the new lease is the same as the previous agreement, including the provision under which the COA pays $500 per month into a building maintenance fund as a lease payment to the city and is responsible for managing the building. Regarding the new agreement, Coursey said, “All of the terms are the same.”
The Three Rivers City Commission approved the lease during its meeting last week (July 17) as an item of business on the consent agenda. In a staff report on the subject in which he recommended city commission approval of the lease, City Manager Joe Bippus said, “The Commission on Aging has extensively remodeled the COA building and intends to install a new drop ceiling in the near future. In order to benefit from their investment they would like to renew/extend their lease. We are not proposing any changes except for the length of the lease.”
Members of the Sturgis City Commission have given their support to a proposed senior center sought by St. Joseph County’s Commission on Aging.
COA executive director Lynn Coursey told commissioners last week the Three Rivers-based agency would like to retain existing services to its Sturgis-area clients and enhance opportunities for a better quality of life through a facility such as a senior center.
Championed by St. Joseph County Commissioners John Dobberteen and Don Eaton, the concept was acknowledged and city officials went on record as supporting the proposed center.
The potential development would be financed by the COA and not the city. The idea is still in the preliminary stages but city leaders asked that they be kept up to date on progress with the proposal.
Urged by a capacity crowd, St. Joseph County’s Board of Commissioners Tuesday agreed to place a millage renewal request before voters regarding the county’s Commission on Aging.
Fifteen people addressed commissioners, asking that they consider placing a six-year renewal of three-quarters of a mill before voters in the Aug. 7 primary election.
Commissioners had previously debated whether to ask for the full three-quarters of a mill or if a request was even necessary. Supporters of the request said the COA is serving a growing population and the position of its funding from county taxpayers is critical to meet those needs.
If approved by voters in August, the renewal would generate nearly $1.4 million in the first of its six-year life.
St. Joseph County has agreed to renew its contract with Canteen food services to prepare meals for the county’s Commission on Aging.
COA ’s relationship with Canteen dates to 2008, when it started preparing meals in the kitchen at the county jail for COA ’s “Meals on Wheels” recipients as well as jail inmates.
As part of its agreement with the county, Canteen offers an 8-cent reduction per inmate meal and the company also evenly splits with the county the cost of equipment repair.
The National Tuesday Toolmen organization has singled out the St. Joseph County Commission on Aging and the Tuesday Toolmen program it helped create.
According to the River Country Journal, COA members recently were made aware of the honor that certifies the volunteer group as an official chapter of the national organization. The national chapter indicated that the St. Joseph County organization has completed the required training to facilitate a Tuesday Toolmen chapter.
Sherry Swartz, coordinator of in-home services for the county’s COA, helped organize the local group after learning more about the program from the Kalamazoo chapter.
Tuesday Toolmen is comprised of volunteers who engage in a number of home-improvements projects or tasks one day a week for homeowners on a limited budget. The St. Joseph County group in the 2009-10 fiscal year provided services small and large for more than 60 COA clients.
Click on River Country’s Journal here — http://www.rivercountryjournal.com/?p=43709