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Dick Planisek (right) and his wife Lana fill out ballots at a polling center located at the Innovation Center on State St. for Election Day in Athens, Ohio, on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019.

Levy to support services for low-income seniors passes

A levy that serves to renew a tax that funds services for low-income senior citizens passed Tuesday by 74.57%.

The purpose of the levy is to provide free, home-delivered and dining site meals to low-income senior citizens in Athens County, according to the Issue 21 Facebook page. The funds will continue to go to providing about 157,000 home-delivered meals for seniors for the next five years.

“Through Meals on Wheels, Athens County seniors can age gracefully and safely in their home,” Facebook page reads. “Home-bound seniors are delivered hot and frozen meals to their doors, providing a nutritious meal, safety check and friendly conversation.”

Meals on Wheels will also continue to provide lunch five days a week at the Athens Community Center and 3 Star Club for Senior Citizens in Glouster, according to the page.

“It’s for the elderly . . . and a lot of them, they can’t get out, especially if the weather’s bad,” Vicki McDonald, a Nelsonville resident who worked the polls, said. 

Some voters supported the levy due to their own personal experiences. 

“My grandpa actually benefited (from the program) after he got his two hip (replacement surgeries). He benefited from it both times,” Abby Karagory, a sophomore studying early childhood education, said. “I thought it’s very nice for him to have, and it’s very convenient.” 

John Haseley, chair of the Athens Democratic Party, voted in support of all the levies because he felt that they provide a good quality of life for the people they affect. 

“I was really impressed with what the voters did with almost all the levies on the ballot. If you look at the county-wide ballot, almost all of them were successful by big margins,” Haseley said. “I think that’s something for us to be proud of.” 

Haseley said it’s hard to pick a levy that’s more important than another. 

“I’m delighted that the Athens community supported the levy renewal that will help Meals on Wheels continue,” Beth Clodfelter, a Democrat who was elected to an At-Large seat on Tuesday, said. “That’s such an important program. I think it’s possible that some people that are clients of Meals on Wheels benefit not only from the food that’s being delivered but from the companionship that they get from the people that are delivering that food. Often, I think having some friendly company is even more nourishing (for) human beings.”

Matthew Roberts, an OU alumnus and a current resident of The Plains, voted in support of all the levies.

“I just believe in the public good and everyone stepping up to support good causes,” Roberts said. “I’ve never really turned down a levy. I just believe that everyone should pitch in and do what they can for the community.”


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