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By Susan Monahan
Pathfinder 

Missoula Aging Services Levy – For/Against

Local Election Guide

 


MISSOULA COUNTY – Missoula Aging Services (MAS) is requesting voters approve a ballot measure to repeal the current flat levy of $350,000 annually with a 4-mill levy on the June 7 ballot.

Replacing this flat funding with a permanent 4-mill levy will better allow MAS to keep pace with the needs of Missoula County’s aging population. The increase amounts to $3.69 per year for each $100,000 of a county homeowner’s taxable home value.

Missoula County’s population of older people is growing and so is the need for services that allow them to age independently in their own homes.

The MAS Levy will help MAS keep pace with the growing demand for services such as Meals on Wheels, the need for which has grown by two-thirds in the past two years.

The bulk of County funding for MAS has remained flat since 2007 with no adjustment for population growth or inflation. Meanwhile, the aging population in Missoula County grew 40% between 2010 and 2019, four times the rate of overall population growth.

In addition to Meals on Wheels, MAS also looks out for older adults and their loved ones by paying thousands of visits to local nursing homes each year and serves as a lifeline to older adults looking to find affordable caregiving services.

MAS Memory Care Support Services program assists people with Alzheimer’s and dementia to continue to live at home for as long as possible, including providing help to family caregivers, said Lisa Sheppard MAS CEO.

“We also help people navigate their way through Medicaid and other services to find the care they need,” Sheppard said.

Absentee ballots have been sent out. County voters can vote for the levy early at the Missoula County Elections Office or in-person on June 7 at Seeley Lake Elementary School or other polling places listed on MissoulaVotes.com

Kristin Page-Nei, a vice-chair of the Missoula Aging Services Governing Board, added that, while this is a primary election, “this is not a trial run for the levy. This is the vote that counts. We hope that people will vote for the Missoula Aging Services Levy. It will help the older people in our community and their families. It’s the right thing to do.”

 

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