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AI- 2855   12. B. 2.    
BOC Regular
Meeting Date: 05/02/2019  
Senior Millage Supplemental Funding for Community Action's Sr. Minor Home Repair Program
Submitted For: Kelli Scott
FROM: Helen Guzzo, Senior Services Manager, Senior Services
Department: Senior Services  

Resolved, that the Calhoun County Board of Commissioners does hereby approve supplemental funding from Senior Millage's fund balance in the amount of $292,500 for the Senior Millage-funded Senior Minor Home Repair program administered by Community Action and increases the program limit on minor home repair services provided to senior homeowners in need of health and safety repairs from $3,000 to $3,500 per household per year, and authorizes the Chair of the Board of Commissioners to sign a contract amendment authorizing this supplemental funding and program limitation change.
County Administration recommends approval of this resolution and the Senior Millage Allocation Committee (SMAC) approved this recommendation for supplemental funding at its April 5, 2019 meeting.  Due to increases in the cost of construction and in furnaces, SMAC approved a recommendation to increase the program limit from $3,000 to $3,500 in the Minimum Service Standard for Minor Home Repair on December 7, 2018, starting in the 2019 Program year.
The County and Community Action have a long standing contract for Minor Home Repair (MHR).   Community Action currently is in its first year of a five year contract for Minor Home Repair for $150,000 per year to fund up to 45 repairs for senior homeowners in need.   Here is the history of the MHR funding:

Year        Amount          Units Repaired     Waitlist at end of year
2015      $120,000         42                            7
2016      $119,978         46                            20
2017      $145,000         51                            18
2018      $150,000         52                            33

The demand for the Minor Home Repair continues to grow and allocating new funding to the program is a good one-time use of Senior Millage fund balance.  Community Action is working through its waitlist and the continual request to assist new seniors with emergency and health and safety issues.  Community Action has obligated its 2019 funding and will assist at least 50 homeowners with the original funding of $150,000.  With the one-time funding of $292,500, Community Action will be able to assist an additional 78 households clearing the waitlist and new referrals for assistance.

Senior Millage has not budgeted its allocation of Personal Property Tax and the Firekeeper's annual contribution until the 2019 budget year.   The Personal Property Tax allocation varies widely each year.  The Senior Millage fund balance has grown to $1.6 million at the end of 2018 and one-time uses for spending it down responsibly are being considered.   This one-time use of Senior Millage to expand Minor Home Repair funding will allow Community Action to reduce its waitlist and assist Calhoun County seniors with home repair needs is one recommended way to reduce Senior Millage's Fund Balance to a reasonable amount.   Attached is a review by County Finance of the Senior Millage's Fund Balance.

Fiscal Impact
This request is for a budget amendment to the Senior Services budget using dollars from the Senior Millage Fund Balance. Responsibly drawing down the Fund Balance is a strategic goal of SMAC and the County. Funding for Senior Millage-funded services and its administration is provided through the collection of Senior Millage tax dollars (.7452 mills) and is recorded under revenue and expense accounts in #276. Senior Millage will be up for a vote to be reauthorized for ten years on the August 2020 ballot.

Senior Services works closely with Community Action, making a yearly monitoring visit to assess the operations of its programs. Community Action is funding to operate Senior Transportation, Home Heating and Utility Assistance and the Senior Minor Home Repair program. Community Action has been working to expand its pool of contractors (it recently held contractor breakfasts in Albion and Battle Creek to recruit new mechanical and building contractors), and to streamline and simplify its contracting procedures to respond more quickly to requests for minor home repairs. Community Action has staff that monitor the quality of work done by contractors and intake staff to process applications and requests for assistance. Monthly, Community Action reports its wait list and the demographics of people served to Senior Services. Community Action services homeowners countywide.
Contract Amendment
Finance Fund Balance Report

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