Senior citizens to benefit from tax renewal on ballot in Livingston Parish

DENHAM SPRINGS, LA (WAFB) - People who use the Council On Aging in Livingston want to make sure residents there go to the polls this weekend. It's the only thing on the ballot in Livingston Parish.

The Senior Center is just one of the sites the Livingston Council on Aging operates. But if voters turn down a two mill property tax renewal on Saturday, the council will have to cut back some services.

One woman who lives there says the senior center helped her live again.

There's a game of Bingo going on inside the Denham Springs Senior Center. It's the most requested game, says the director of the center. Jo Mayo says she's seen several notes in the suggestion box to play Bingo for the entire time the seniors are in the building.

"We need this," said Barbara Curtis. More than just that specific game, Curtis says everything at the center is important to her. "Usually it's 90 to 100 people here every day."

Curtis says two years ago, when her husband died, she walked into the center and formed a new family. She even met her best friend there. Now, five days a week, she sits at table four, with her best friend by her side.

"To know someone out there cares about us...after you get age 60, people tend to throw you away," Curtis said.

"Frozen meal program we deliver weekly to our homebound seniors, the chore service where people go out and help the elderly clean their homes," says Director Jo Mayo.

The program scaled back on its transportation last year after an issue with the Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office collecting a commission on the property tax. The council has recently gotten that money back and started offering rides once again, five days a week. But if the millage is not renewed, transportation will be back on the chopping block.

"You sit at home and you got TV, you do handwork so long you got arthritis and you get tired of walking Wal-Mart. This place, you come every day and get lunch, see friends and it's wonderful," Curtis said.

"They provide for all of us all their lives. It's time for us to give back to them," Mayo said.

Mayo also says the lunch that is served at the center, for some, is the only meal many there get all day. She says the tax to be renewed is something residents have paid for the last ten years.

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