Casco Township: Senior millage up for renewal

By: 
Kayla Deneau, Staff Writer

Casco Township voters will be asked to renew the 0.25-mill senior millage for four years on Tuesday, Nov. 4.

The millage was first levied in 1996 and will collect an estimated $49,250 in its first year.

Casco’s director of senior services Susan Katt said the millage provides outreach, exercise and social services for seniors in the township.

“Our plan is to keep people in their homes as long as they wish, keep them social and active and meet their needs as they come,” she said. “We also connect people with programs we don’t provide like hospice and home health services.”

Katt said the program offers exercise classes, socials, potlucks and programs provided by different outreach organizations.

“Different doctors come in and talk about their specialties, hospice comes in and gives classes on resources they offer including fall prevention and palliative care and more programs along those lines,” she said.

Katt said the township has between 500 and 600 senior residents, with approximately 25 percent of seniors using one or more of the services offered.

“We are not an income-based program; our services are available to any senior in the township,” she said.

The millage was last renewed in November 2009, 264-133.

Katt said if the millage is not renewed the programs would likely be canceled, but she does not foresee the proposal failing.

“I think we have really good support in Casco,” she said.

Doug Murdoch participates in exercise activities with his wife Mary Lou.

“It’s very convenient for us,” he said. “We don’t live too far from the township hall where the activities are and it is good for people our age to be active.”

Murdoch said they attend activities on Monday and Thursday with largely the same group of people.

“It’s become a social situation,” he said. “If someone isn’t there one day, we ask why and then give them a hard time when we see them.”

Murdoch said he and his wife spend the winter in Florida in a park where they walk and ride bikes, but he enjoys having somewhere to stay active while on their farm in Casco, since the ground is rough.

“Some of the muscles we work on we don’t use as much. I was stiffer than a board for a few days at first but it gradually got better as we kept going,” Murdoch said.

After working past sciatic nerve problems, he credits exercises for improving his balance.

“I think the activity is great for me and I’m sure other (participants) would tell you the same thing,” Murdoch said. “It is a good activity for seniors and I think we are fortunate to have a township that is interested in providing this type of service.”

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