Replacement, increased senior services levy to appear on ballot

Commissioners also approves CRA agreement, meet with HIT Foundation

By Eddie Mowen Jr. -

EATON — Preble County voters will see a replacement of an existing 1-mill levy and an increase of 0.5-mill on the Nov. 2 general election ballot to fund senior citizen services and facilities.

During their Monday, July 19, meeting, Preble County Commissioners approved a resolution declaring it necessary to levy the tax in excess of the 10-mill limitation, in the amount of 1.5 mills “for the purpose of providing and maintaining senior citizen services and facilities by and through the Preble County Council on Aging, or its successor.”

According to the resolution, the levy amounts to 15 cents for each $100 of valuation and would be for five years commencing in 2022 and first due in calendar year 2023.

“Hopefully, people will see that this is a good thing,” Commissioner Adam Craft commented.

Also on Monday, July 19, commissioners approved a resolution authorizing the county to enter into a Community Reinvestment Area agreement with Royal Canin Incorporated in Harrison Township.

The CRA provides tax incentives for commercial development and investment. Royal Canin announced earlier this year an expansion project which will bring over 200 new jobs to Preble County.

In other business

Commissioners met with HIT Foundation Executive Director Clayton Genth and Grant Coordinator Lindsay Watson regarding the agency seeking supporting documentation for a grant application they are making to garner additional funds to help rehab seniors’ homes.

Genth reported on the foundation is in the process of applying for its second Affordable Housing Project Grant through the Federal Home Loan Bank. The first time HIT applied for such a grant was 10 or 11 years ago, he told commissioners.

“We used the funds to rehab homes that we own and rent out to low-income folks throughout Preble County, so for that grant we were rehabbing our own homes,” he said of the earlier grant. “In this grant, we’re actually rehabbing homes that we don’t own, but are owned by seniors in Preble County.”

He explained, the projects would be for low-income senior adults who would generally qualify for the HIT Foundation’s Senior Home Repair program.

“But this allows us to do what we call major projects for seniors in their homes,” Genth said. “Upwards of seven to $10,000 per job — pretty major pretty significant home repair that they can’t otherwise afford on their own.”

“We have about three or four different ones that need roofs, we have two or three that need accessible restrooms,” Watson said. “A few that have some ramps to enter and exit their home, along with the roof, and that usually comes with the full tear off and the gutters. And then I believe we also have one kitchen modification so that the senior can make their own meal.”

The program is for seniors 60 years and older.

HIT Foundation officials asked commissioners to sign a Certificate of Consistency with Consolidated Plan.

“They don’t want to give us money to do a big project, that you all aren’t supportive of and later rejected and maybe not get issued permits and things like that. That’s the general purpose of this certification of consolidated plan,” Genth said. We just want to be really clear that we’re doing owner occupied homes, we’re not acquiring land, we’re not building, and we’re not rehabbing an existing building to make it new housing. We’re just trying to preserve existing housing of low-income seniors.”

“Which is still within the realm of what we do on a daily basis, this is just to get additional income to help more people,” Watson added.

Commissioners said they would have Prosecuting Attorney Marty Votel look over the certificate prior to signing it.

Commissioners also approves CRA agreement, meet with HIT Foundation

By Eddie Mowen Jr.

Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4061 and follow on Twitter @emowenjr

Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4061 and follow on Twitter @emowenjr