COA seeks renewal of levy to help continue serving seniors

Dennis Mansfield, Contributing Writer

KALKASKA – There have been plenty of changes at the Kalkaska County Commission on Aging in recent years.

Those changes include the hiring of a new director. And, more recently, the completion of about $1.5-million in upgrades and renovations at the KCCOA’s main facility, the Kalkaska Senior Center on Coral Street in Kalkaska.

District No. 3 Commissioner Kohn Fisher, chairman of the Kalkaska County Board of Commissioners and other KCCOA officials have said that the renewal of a six-year, 0.5-mill levy, which will be before county voters in a special election Aug. 6, will help fund services and programs provided through the senior agency, as well as replenish the fund balance for future capital projects.

The levy up for renewal Aug. 6 is just one source of revenue for the KCCOA, with the agency also funded through a second, overlapping 0.5-mill levy, as well as grants and donations.

The tax revenue helps fund services provided by the KCCOA intended for individuals over the age of 60 at either no charge, by donation or fee via a sliding scale according to household income. Each program is different and intended to meet specific needs, with the overall goal of the agency to assist in keeping local seniors independent and safe in their own homes, as long as is safely possible.

Services and programs currently provided by the KCCOA include:

  • Congregate (Group) Meals at four different locations countywide;
  • Home Delivered Meals for seniors unable to get out of the home or make meals on their own;
  • In Home Services including personal care assistance, housekeeping, respite and foot care by a registered nurse
  • Information and assistance, with options for counseling and referrals when needed
  • Social interaction through various educational programs, activities and friendly visitors 


Additionally, the KCCOA offers many activities and events on a regular basis. The senior center also provides a location for socialization to combat loneliness and feelings of isolation.

Mike Cox, president of the KCCOA Advisory Board, said he has personally come to understand the need for seniors to have places to meet, talk and share activities with other seniors when his wife recently traveled to help take care of another family member, often leaving him to fend for himself.

“They’ve been a great resource for me,” Cox said. “I never realized how important it was before this.”

But, again, he also emphasized the importance of renewing the six-year levy, as more services are needed by a growing segment of the population.

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