Funds allocated for mental health services
Written by JORDAN CRAVENS Sentinel Staff Writer
Saturday, 30 June 2012 08:15
The Wood County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board has approved $9.2 million in allocations for fiscal year 2013, which begins July 1.
"You will see there are several items we have allocated on there, but we don't have to spend," said board treasurer Randy Rothenbuhler.
"We have set the money aside if the board chooses to move forward with the programs," he said.
Among the allocations made at the Monday meeting were contracts with five local agencies for about $7.4 million.
Behavioral Connections of Wood County was allocated $4.6 million for a year-long contract: Children's Resource Center, $1.7 million; Wood County Educational Service Center, $616,094; Family Services, $368,028; and NAMI Wood County, $105,415.
Another allocation was for $90,000 in matching funds to partner with the state and the Rehabilitation Service Commission to expand vocational services.
In committing matching funds, the board will qualify for an estimated $332,534 in Federal Vocation Rehabilitation dollars to be used through September 2013.
The vocational program provides rehabilitation services to those who suffer from substance addiction, severe mental illness and those re-entering society after serving time in jail or prison.
Rothenbuhler said the board is in good financial health and should anticipate a budget surplus next year.
However, with possible changes to health care reform and other changes at the state level, he said having savings is a good thing.
"It is certainly a time we want to make sure we have a significant war chest and keep a surplus of savings," he said.
The board currently has a fund balance of $4.6 million.
Also at the meeting, board chair Judy Ennis commended outgoing director Larry Mershman for helping to build a strong foundation for members to build on.
Mershman has served as director of the board for more than 20 years, Ennis said, and will have logged 30 years of service when his contract expires at the end of the month.
"Even though he is not here, I want to say that the board deeply appreciates what Larry Mershman has brought to this board," Ennis said.
The board also thanked two outgoing members, Eric Reynolds and Rickey Rudey, for their service to the county. Both members were presented with plaques.
Reynolds served as secretary for the board the past year.
"When Eric Reynolds speaks, everybody always listens," Ennis said.
And the board could always count on Rudey to bring a "clear-headed business sense" to the table, tinged with a background in social services in the early part of her career, Ennis said.
"You have been a faithful and excellent member and you will be missed for so many reasons," she said.