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Franklin Twp. seeks senior levy renwal

Franklin Twp. voters will decide if it should renew a five-year, 0.25-mill senior services levy.

The levy is Issue 8 on the November general election ballot in Warren County. The levy that was originally approved in 2007, and then renewed in 2011, generates about $123,000 a year for senior services in the township. Township officials said the levy costs about $8.50 annually for the owner of a home valued at $100,000.

Township Trustee Ron Ruppert said the majority of the senior levy funding covers the operational and personnel costs to operate the township’s handicapped accessible senior bus five days a week. He said the township’s senior bus does not receive funding from the Warren County senior levy, which is also up for renewal, and said there is no overlap between the services provided by either levy.

Ruppert said the senior bus transports seniors 60 years and older as well as the disabled, free of charge to doctor appointments, local shopping areas in the township, and various locations in Carlisle, Franklin and Franklin Twp.

The township also provides one to two $5,000 grants to assist senior programs in the community.

Levy revenues also provide partial funding for the operation of the Deardoff Senior Center. Ruppert said the township allocates funding each year. The senior center located at Sixth and River streets was opened in 1993 through the Walter and Audrey Deardoff Trust which provided funding to build and operate the center.

“It’s the only facility of its type in the area,” Ruppert said.

The center provides various programming and hosts monthly events in addition to providing flu shots, health screenings, exercise programs, health and safety information and free AARP tax preparation. It also serves as a civic center, hosting multiple meetings for its community partners.

The Deardoff Senior Center is a nonprofit organization with its own board. Jenni Lemon, Deardoff Center director, said the allocation of funds from the township senior levy represents about 40 percent of the center’s budget.

However, there is some opposition against the levy renewal.

Resident Mark Boy said he opposes the levy because Walter Deardoff specified in his will that township residents not be taxed to operate the senior center.

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