Senior improvement district on ballot

The Board of Lincoln County Commissioners have approved a ballot question for primary election ballots in south Lincoln County. The question: whether they are for or against the formation of a senior citizens improvement district with a 0.3 mill levy on all taxable property within the proposed district? The proposed district will have the same boundaries as the current South Lincoln Fire District, which includes most of south Lincoln County. The northern boundary does not include the area north of Sage Junction including Cokeville or the area north of Fontenelle Creek including LaBarge.

The Kemmerer Senior Citizens Board and the director of the Kemmerer Senior Center were approached by county commissioners with the idea to form a senior citizens services district in order to have a steady source of revenue for operating and maintaining the senior citizens center.

Currently the senior center operates on federal funds, county funds, and donations. In the past, the City of Kemmerer and Town of Diamondville have provided funding, but this is no longer the case. If the voters approve the proposed district, the county will no longer be asked for funding.

The center offers area seniors meals each day, five days per week; home-delivered meals for those who qualify; activities including billiards, afternoon movies, yoga, weekly crafting projects, and more; transportation; and socialization. For many seniors in our area, the activities provided by the senior center are the only socialization they may get. 

Currently, home meals are only provided to seniors who qualify under federal guidelines. With the proposed mill levy, the senior center could expand home delivery to all seniors who want this service and deliveries could be made to those living outside of Kemmerer and Diamondville. This would be a true “Meals on Wheels” program.

The proposed levy of 0.3 mills on residential property with an assessed valuation of $100,000 would amount to $2.85 per year. For each $100,000 of assessed valuation for industrial property the levy would be $3.45 a year. Agricultural land is assessed at different rates. Twenty-five acres of irrigated agricultural land would see a levy of $1.20. Minerals are taxed at 100% of the value of production. Last year coal production was valued at $138,211,529. The proposed 0.3 mills would generate $41,463 based on last year’s production.

 The board of the Kemmerer Senior Center asked for this ballot question to form a Senior Citizens Services District and mill levy after much debate and consideration. The center provides valuable and needed services to the community and hopes to continue the same level of services. The proposed district and mill levy will allow this to happen.

More information about the proposed district will be provided before the election in August. Questions can be directed to Marchane Hunt, the director of the Kemmerer Senior Citizens Center at 105 J.C. Penney Dr. or by calling 307-877-3806. The board thanks you for your support in the primary election in August.