County commissioners call for increased funding for senior centers

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Additional funding for senior centers turned out to be a hot topic at Wednesday’s Sedgwick County public budget meeting. Now a commissioner says some centers are on the verge of closing due to insufficient funding.

District 5 Commissioner Jim Howell said the situation dates back to a 1982 ballot question that allowed the county to levy a property tax for senior services not to exceed $1 million, which is essentially a cap. $5.7 million per year. But since 1984, the county began to scale back the plant, and in 2015 that levy froze.

Howell says that taking inflation into account, the factory fee is now at an all-time low of 0.37, which means several centers could close in 2023.

“Senior centers like La Familia, for example, may not survive this year,” Howell said. “Oaklawn is very, very struggling trying to figure out how to make things work. We all have to tighten our belts in this economy, and senior centers have had to tighten our belts, but even more than us. »

Howell says he is working to bring the question back to the ballot to increase the minimum levy.

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