Voters back renewal levy for Prime Time Office on Aging

STEUBENVILLE – Judy Owings, Prime Time Office on Aging director, said she was going to work today to begin expanding the number of meals provided to older residents after the renewal of a senior services levy and an additional amount was approved by voters Tuesday, according to unofficial results from the Jefferson County Board of Elections.

Voters agreed to renew the 1-mill levy and approved a 0.2-mill increase by a vote of 8,199-5,034.

Owings said the number of home-delivered meals to senior citizens will increase and the waiting list for the meals will be cut. Prime Time also provides transportation services for medical appointments.

The cost of delivered meals and congregate sites throughout the county account for 80 percent of the approximately $1 million received from the 1-mill levy. There were 201,232 home-delivered meals and 50,142 meals provided at congregate meal sites last year. Owings said the average cost of a meal is $3.63.

Transportation amounts to 12 percent of the budget. There were 14,540 transportation trips provided in 2013.

This is the third time the levy was approved.

“I am very thankful to the voters of Jefferson County for continuing to support our services and everyone believing in improving the programs. We are anxious to get down to work on the services. We are going to increase home delivery of meals on routes, and, if necessary, add additional routes,” Owings said.

“I think the people realize the need and the lack of things available out there to support the needs of senior citizens. They felt it was worth it to increase the levy. It is evident seniors are increasing and so are their needs,” Owings said.

She said Prime Time did a close assessment before asking the voters for an increase in funding.

“Even though it was a modest increase, it isn’t easy for people. So we really appreciate it,” she said.

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