When King County voters renewed the six-year Veterans, Seniors and Human Services Levy last November, they said “yes” to a levy-lid lift that county officials expected would raise $52.3 million in the first year.
“Yes” to a measure that would cost them 10 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation on their homes in 2018, with a 3.5 percent limit over the lifetime of the levy.
What that “yes” will shortly mean to the Auburn Senior Activity Center is $118,000 for beefed-up programming, more social service help, repairs to the kitchen floor, and a looped hearing assistance system to allow hearing-impaired participants to hear better in the facility banquet room, classroom and TV room.
“This levy is an important source of revenue the City should not ignore,” said Councilman Larry Brown.
“One-hundred-eighteen-thousand dollars will go a long way,” said Councilman Bill Peloza.
The Auburn City Council agreed, and on Monday authorized Mayor Nancy Backus to negotiate and execute a grant agreement with King County to appropriate and expend the funds.
After the King County Council adopted an implementation plan for the levy that included the grant on July 16, Auburn’s Parks, Arts, and Recreation Department submitted an application for those funds.
Auburn, in fact, is one of 38 organizations serving older adults countywide shortly to realize more accessible facilities and expanded programs, courtesy of a total $3.5 million investment by King County. The one-time investments will help senior centers, community centers, and organizations serving older adults expand programs to reach more local seniors, make their facilities safer and more accessible, purchase equipment and appliances, and more.
Here is a summation of what the Senior Activities Center will do with the money it gets:
• Expand a partnership with the Latino-based organization, Sea Mar, from once monthly to once a week, and offer a new Diversity Education Series of classes for four weeks focused on bullying and inclusion among seniors;
• Replace the 17-year-old kitchen floor. Catholic Community Services oversees the Nutrition Site at the Center, which it operates daily five days a week. In 2017, it served 19,644 meals;
• Buy two power lift chairs for the classroom used every Friday by Auburn Respite, an Adult Day Care program;
• Establish a contract with Valley Cities Behavioral Health for a 10-hour/week social worker to provide services at the Center from August through December in 2018;
• Offer a free Contemporary Ethics Lecture Series and the free, twice weekly evidence-based SAIL Fall Prevention Program; and
• Advertise center options and promote Hyde Shuttle as a free transportation option, update organizational software, ACTIVE NET, to ask appropriate and relevant customer questions to gather data required as part of a grant award.