Questions surround Austintown Senior Center renewal levy - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Questions surround Austintown Senior Center renewal levy

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Austintown's Senior Center has a membership of more than 1,800 people from five different counties.

And the renewal of the 0.5-mill levy is like a lifeline to keep the program flourishing.

But with the levy vote less than a month away, there are questions about why approximately 40% of the levy funds are being used to pay for the center's rent?

Jim Henshaw is the Director of the Austintown Senior Center, "The nice thing about the rent that is paid here is after the heat, light, power and all those bills are taken care of it goes into what's called the Westchester Fund. That fund is used to support the parks and recreation area of Austintown. That's because when Walter Terlecky donated this building to the township, he specified that all the access from any of the rents must go to be used for parks and recreation."

Trustee Jim Davis says he's thankful that the money paid can be recycled and still benefit the township.

"So we're hoping that everybody understands that this is just the cost of doing business. We have to pay rent somewhere and fortunately for us instead of paying John Q landlord the money we're actually being able to recycle the money back and put it into our park system for the benefit of the youth of Austintown," Davis said.

The senior center levy generates about $300,000 a year, and if that money is lost the trustees and the seniors say it would be devastating.

"I'm sorry for getting emotional but I love these seniors more than anything and to see them not have a place to be, it would be devastating not only to them but to me," Davis said.

The renewal levy vote will be on the March 15th ballot.

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