Millage renewal concerns funding for senior citizen programming, facilities

Published 4:37 pm Friday, November 4, 2022

RESERVE — This Tuesday, voters across St. John the Baptist Parish will decide whether to renew a tax supporting senior citizens’ centers operated by the St. John the Baptist Parish Council on Aging.

Parishwide Proposition No. 2 of 2 asks whether St. John Parish shall continue to levy a one mill tax on property, equating to an estimated $772,900 to be collected per year, for a period of 10 years beginning in 2024 and ending in 2033. This tax revenue may only be used to acquire, construct, maintain and provide funding for the parish’s senior citizens programs.

St. John Council on Aging Director Cheryl Parquet said the millage supports services for seniors as well as upkeep of the senior citizen centers on the East and West Bank.

The St. John Council on Aging offers congregate meals where senior citizens can gather together to eat one meal five days a week. Meals are also transported to homebound seniors.

Other services include recreational events and respite care to relieve family members caring for homebound seniors. The Council on Aging has also contracted legal services to assist residents ages 60 and older with living wills, foreclosures and other small legal matters.

While the senior center located near the Juan Anthony Joseph Memorial Park in Edgard did not sustain much damage during Hurricane Ida, repairs are still ongoing at the Reserve location located on REGALA Park Road.

The largest room at the Reserve location is open and is currently being used to provide meals and programming for seniors. The space where the Council on Aging typically holds computer classes and another recreation area previously used for entertainment are still awaiting repairs.

Parquet said the senior citizens’ centers are an asset to the parish that hold great meaning to those who utilize services.

“Coming here, the seniors have a home away from home. The socialization that takes place here relieves whatever they may be going through at home. They love bingo, they love to eat, they love to dance, and they love taking field trips. We are just like one big, happy family,” Parquet said.

For more information on the November 8 election, including sample ballots, please visit sos.la.gov.