The Riverton Senior Citizens Center wants to form a new tax district to help fund the services it provides for the local community.
The district could generate up to $380,000 in property taxes to support senior services in the Riverton area, senior center board president Frank Tanner told the Riverton City Council during a regular meeting this month.
Tanner had approached the council to ask for support for the new tax district proposal, which the senior center plans to bring to the Fremont County Commission in the coming weeks.
“We’re going to … ask (the Commission) to authorize the inclusion in the next general election of a provision to create a senior citizen service district,” Tanner said.
If the Commission “won’t do it,” he said, “we have to go through the process of getting everybody (to) sign a petition.”
“That wouldn’t be too hard in this community,” Tanner added, estimating that at least 3,000 people in the Riverton area are eligible for senior center services, which include home-delivered meals, public transportation, and recreational programming.
Those services allow seniors to continue living “in their own homes as long as (they) possibly can,” Taylor said – “rather than having to pay for a nursing home.”
Last year, he said, 1,300 people took advantage of senior center offerings.
The number is down compared to pre-COVID years but represents an increase over 2021, according to senior center director Lori Weber, who joined Tanner in front of the council this month.
“We provide service to a lot of people,” Tanner said. “And we’re coming out of a rather horrible period of time with what COVID did to the senior centers. (Now) with inflation and everything … we need some help.”
The senior center’s current annual budget is about $1 million, Tanner said.
That total includes about $250,000 in local money, he explained, with the rest coming from state and federal grants.
If the senior center is able to form a new tax district, Tanner said they could use the money to leverage even more grant funding.
“There are lots of things we would like to be able to do better if we could generate more money,” he said. “Hopefully you’ll see fit (to) support the attempt that we’re making.”