ASHLAND — An Ashland Source reader recently asked us what the Ashland County Council on Aging and Ashland County Department of Job and Family Services are doing with their new levy funds that were approved by voters last fall.

“Exactly where do things stand with use of levy funds by JFS/COA? What has been done, what do they still plan to do and by when? As voters and community members, we have the right to know,” the reader wrote.

The COA offers a number of programs to seniors in the area, including home-delivered meals, social events, transportation assistance, and a cleaning service.

The COA has used a large portion of its levy funds on increased food and fuel costs for these programs, Executive Director Sandy Enderby said.

“Obviously with the economy and the inflation and everything that’s going on, the price of fuel, the price of food, that’s taking a big portion of the increase of our levy dollars right now. Without that increase we would definitely probably have to limit our services,” Enderby said.

The COA also used levy funds on hiring a new outreach coordinator, increasing wages, and starting a caregiver relief program that is planned to launch in July.

The Ashland County Department of Job and Family Services provides a number of services to the county like child protection, child support, foster care, job assistance, and adoption help. 

Job and Family Services have used their levy funds on increasing wages, hiring staff, placing children in foster homes, and caring for children in foster care, Director Peter Stefaunik said.

JFS anticipates spending around $500,000 on rising costs related to foster children in 2022, Stefaunik added. 

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