The Butler County commissioners have a new five-year $3.8 million deal with the Council on Aging of Southwest Ohio to manage the Elderly Services Program. NICK GRAHAM/2016

Butler County approves $3.8 million Elderly Services contract

With the number of senior citizens on the rise in Butler County, the council offered a new contract deal that will allow them to serve more people.

The county has had a contract with the agency for 20 years, administering programs that are funded by the Elderly Services levy. The county put out a request for proposals this year as the contract expired, but COA was the only entity to respond. Under the new deal the county can save money on administrative fees and hopefully serve more seniors.

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“Under the old contract there was a set amount of $63,360 a month,” Ken Wilson, vice president of program operations with the COA said. “We’re proposing a 7 percent fee which would result in about $250,000 in savings over the next five years of the levy cycle.”

Commissioner Don Dixon said he has been very pleased with how COA has managed their program and they only went out for proposals because that is the prudent thing to do with taxpayers’ money.

“When you’re dealing with public dollars it’s always prudent to take a look and see what’s out there,” he said. “The reason we went out to bid was not because we were unsatisfied, it was just to test the market.”

As was suggested by Finance Director Tawana Keels the contract was capped at the $3.8 million. Wilson told the Journal-News they probably could have exceeded that amount, if the program grows more than projected, but he doesn’t see that happening for the immediate future.

“We’re not projecting a lot of growth because the program has been enrolling a lot of new seniors on a regular basis but about the same number of people have been dis-enrolling,” Wilson said. “Our growth assumptions are pretty small.”

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He said they are evaluating their growth projections right now because “we know the leading edge of the baby boomers are in their 70s now and at some point we’re going to see that volume pick back up.”

A study by the Scripps Gerontology Center at Miami University shows the 60-plus population in the county is expected to rise by almost eight percent in 2030. Wilson said they served 3,808 seniors in 2016.

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