Saturday, January 18th, 2014
By Shelley Grieshop
Officials ask voters to OK county home tax renewal
  CELINA - Mercer County Commissioners on Thursday declared it necessary to seek voter approval for a tax levy supporting the county home.
If the proposed 1-mill, five-year maintenance and operational property tax is approved by the county auditor, residents will vote on the issue at the polls May 6.
The renewal levy would continue to generate $731,000 per year if passed. A resident with a home valued at $100,000 would continue to pay $24.20.
This is the third time voters will be asked to OK the levy. It was first approved at the polls in March 2004 and collections began the following year. It was approved again by residents in 2009.
The Mercer County Home west of Celina on state Route 29 has housed men and women for about 149 years. The approximately 20 residents at the home do not financially or otherwise qualify for nursing homes or other facilities, officials said.
The county home, often referred to as the "poor home," is located beyond a tree-lined driveway north of the county jail. The 24-hour facility offers 38 dormitory-style bedrooms on two floors.
County commissioner Jerry Laffin said the building will soon need some repairs and upgrades to its generator, air conditioning system and a few windows. However, none of the needs are critical, he added.
"It's holding up pretty good," Laffin said.
Commissioners visit the grounds frequently throughout the year to monitor the building and discuss operations with manager Jerry Moeder, who lives on-site with his family.
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