MISSOULA - A levy to fund Missoula's Aging Services was before Missoula voters in Tuesday’s election, and it has passed easily – garnering 71% of the vote.
The levy asked to replace the current flat annual funding of $350,000 with a permanent levy of four mills to fund services for the county's elderly population.
“We thank Missoula County voters for standing by their older family members, friends and neighbors,” Missoula Aging Services (MAS) CEO Lisa Sheppard said. “Our population of older people is increasing, and this levy will help Missoula Aging Services meet the growing demand for its programs.”
Missoula Aging Services reports the population of older adults in Missoula County grew 40% in the past decade, four times that of the overall population. The need for Meals on Wheels, alone, has risen by two-thirds in the last two years.
“We’re thankful for the support of Missoula County voters and glad that Missoula Aging Services will be able to sustain these vital programs as the need for them grows,” Missoula Aging Services Governing Board President Roberta Smith said.
Voters approved a flat 2-mill rate of $350,000 in 2007 to fund Missoula Aging Services. However, it provided no mechanism for inflation or boost to cover a demand in services. The increased revenue will avoid a reduction of local services to older adults in the county provided by the agency.