Saturday, April 26th, 2014
By Shelley Grieshop
Renewal levy sought to support county home
CELINA - Voters in the May primary will be asked to renew a 1-mill property tax levy that funds the Mercer County Home.
The five-year levy for maintenance and operations, if passed, will generate $731,000 annually. A resident with a home valued at $100,000 will continue to pay $24.20 per year.
The levy was first passed by voters in March 2004 and approved a second time in 2009. It provides about 90 percent of the facilities' funding, according to county home manager Jerry Moeder.
"Our annual budget is about $750,000," he said.
The county home receives about $40,000 per year from residents of the home who are able to pay a portion of their expenses, Moeder said. The county-owned facility does not receive any state dollars, Medicare or Medicaid.
The sprawling structure west of Celina houses 18 men and women and has a maximum occupancy of 34. Moeder - in his 26th year as manager - said people frequently ask him if he accepts people from other areas.
"I only take Mercer County residents. We strictly serve just the people of Mercer County," he said.
Moeder, who lives on-site with his family, said he has 14 staff members - including himself - and three part-time workers.
The two-story home houses men and women who do not financially or otherwise qualify for nursing homes or other facilities. It's been open for 149 years.
Moeder said some of the aging windows will need replaced and there are "heating issues" throughout the building, but nothing that requires immediate repair. He hopes to someday install central air conditioning; presently he has a few air conditioning units to cool several rooms but not the entire building, he said.
"We first want to make sure the windows are all sealed," Moeder said. "Some of them are more than 40 years old."