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Published: Wednesday, 2/9/2005

Sylvania: Senior Center to seek funding

BY MIKE JONES
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Officials of Sylvania Community Services say a replacement levy with an increase in millage is necessary for the Sylvania Senior Center to continue its level of operation.

Claire Proctor, director of SCS, the parent group of the senior center, said a levy of 0.45 mills is needed for operating income for the center. The proposed levy would replace the current 0.32-mill levy measure passed by voters five years ago.

The current measure raises about $300,000 annually, Ms. Proctor said, and if passed, the proposed measure will generate slightly more than $600,000.

The issue has to go to voters sometime this year she said, because the center's original levy will expire at the end of this year.

Dennis Boyle, chairman of the township trustees, said there were no negative comments about the measure at a public hearing last week.

The trustees must approve placing the proposed levy on the ballot.

Although the senior center has an annual budget of about $1 million, much of it is based on services which come on a voluntary basis or are otherwise provided with no cash expense to the facility.

For instance, Ms. Proctor said the use of the facility is valued at more than $200,000, but no rent is paid.

She said the money raised from the levy accounts to about 75 percent of the funds needed to operate the center.

Residents are currently paying $15 per year, and if the replacement issue passes they will pay $27.56 annually, according to the Lucas County Auditor's Office.

The center opened in 2002, replacing an area of the basement of the Burnham Building on Monroe Street that had served as the area's senior center for years.

There are 300 to 350 seniors who use the center each day, according to Ms. Proctor.It is difficult to estimate how many people visit the center over any longer period of time, because people are free to simply enter and use some or all of the facilities.

The center was built with funding from both Sylvania and Sylvania Township and is open to anyone who is at least 55 years old. The building features a large dining room with a fireplace and a patio which is also used for meetings, a large exercise room for classes which also has an area for exercise equipment.

The center has separate rooms for computers, woodworking, art classes, weaving, playing pool, and a library with large windows on three sides and overlooks the trees and gardens of a backyard.



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