COA makes proposal in response to Clinton County Community Action request


By Gary Huffenberger - ghuffenberger@wnewsj.com



In the county commissioners office from left are Council on Aging (COA) Vice President of Program Operations Ken Wilson, COA President and CEO Suzanne Burke, and Clinton County Community Action Executive Assistant/Housing Manager Jane Newkirk (partly hidden).

In the county commissioners office from left are Council on Aging (COA) Vice President of Program Operations Ken Wilson, COA President and CEO Suzanne Burke, and Clinton County Community Action Executive Assistant/Housing Manager Jane Newkirk (partly hidden).


Gary Huffenberger | News Journal

WILMINGTON — Council on Aging (COA) has made a proposal in response to Community Action’s request for $30,000 of local senior levy funds to keep providing services to older adults.

The not-for-profit COA administers the Clinton County Elderly Services Program through a contract with the Clinton County commissioners.

Overall, Clinton County Community Action officials appeared Wednesday to find the proposal acceptable. County commissioners could not take action immediately until they receive an amendment to their existing contract with the COA of Southwestern Ohio.

Specifically, the COA proposal is to amend the current contract to allow COA to use levy funds — up to $30,000 annually — as a local match for federally funded transportation services.

This funding change, according to Community Action officials, could enable their not-for-profit agency to come close to breaking even, all other things being equal. As previously reported, for each of the past two years, Community Action has been in the red $20,000 or so in providing senior services.

While the demand for senior services has gone up, the revenue that used to come from a charitable Bingo operation at Community Action has dried up, and funds from United Way have gone down.

At a county commissioners appointment Wednesday, Clinton County Community Action Board Chairperson Randy Riley said the COA proposal is a step in the right direction, though it doesn’t answer all issues.

A local Elderly Services Advisory Board has approved the proposal.

If the proposal is adopted by commissioners, the dollars that would be used are earmarked for seniors transportation.

“That’s one of the big problems now, is transportation,” said Riley.

The transportation program provides transportation to Clinton County senior residents 60 or older. The program provides transportation for such activities as medical appointments, banking, shopping, beauty and barber shop, and a variety of other needs within Clinton County.

Riley said delivery of meals-on-wheels also involves transportation costs.

Also on Wednesday, county commissioners determined the annual distribution of dollars available in the Charles F. Fischer Fund. Local organizations that serve children can apply for the dollars.

The recipients this year of a $24,000 total are Harvest of Gold ($4,000), Kids & Company drama camp ($4,000), Clinton County Youth Council ($3,500), Clinton County Homeless Shelter ($2,500), and Clinton County Children Services ($10,000).

Known in the community as the pianist who accompanied silent movies at The Murphy Theatre from when it opened 101 years ago until the talkies appeared, Charles “Charlie” F. Fischer, a lifelong bachelor, left most of his estate in trust to the children of Clinton County.

Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.

In the county commissioners office from left are Council on Aging (COA) Vice President of Program Operations Ken Wilson, COA President and CEO Suzanne Burke, and Clinton County Community Action Executive Assistant/Housing Manager Jane Newkirk (partly hidden).
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2019/05/web1_coa.jpgIn the county commissioners office from left are Council on Aging (COA) Vice President of Program Operations Ken Wilson, COA President and CEO Suzanne Burke, and Clinton County Community Action Executive Assistant/Housing Manager Jane Newkirk (partly hidden). Gary Huffenberger | News Journal

By Gary Huffenberger

ghuffenberger@wnewsj.com