Disabilities board is going to the voters

March 5th, 2010    Author: Marsha Mundy    Filed Under: News

The Clermont County Developmental Disabilities board is asking voters to approve a .9 mill replacement levy when they go to the polls on Tuesday, May 4.

According to Sharon Woodrow, superintendent of CCDD, the levy was first passed in 1982.

“We have lost some state money and tax on business property is being phased out,” said Woodrow. “We are doing more for more people than we’ve ever done but getting less funding to do the work.”

She said there are currently 400 people on the waiting list to receive services from the agency.

The levy now brings about $6 annually on a home worth $100,000 to CCDD. This generates about $1,176,560. If voters approve the replacement levy of .9 mills, the same homeowners will pay an additional $21, or $27.56 annually. This increase would mean $3,994,554 in revenue for CCDD.

"Without this replacement levy, after 2012, we will be in serious trouble and will not have enough money to operate," said Woodrow. "We have lost much of our state funding and expect even more state cuts. Although we did receive $300,000 in stimulus money, it will only help us get through to the end of next year."

One of the biggest cuts to the agency funding came through the deregulation of the electric industry. They have been receiving $1 million in taxes annually from the Beckjord Power Plant. That money is being phased out beginning in 2012 with CCDD receiving 20 percent less each year until the funding is completely gone.

"With the passage of the levy, we will be able to serve 100 to 130 more people," said Woodrow. "If the levy fails we will have to make significant cuts. The cuts will be made in programs but we can't cut those programs which are state mandated."

She also noted that it is hard to determine exactly how many programs might be affected because the numbers from state funding continue to change.

"The money that the state has taken away from us will not likely be restored. Once they have taken away our funding, they will probably not renew it," said Woodrow. "In all our years of service, we have never had to make a cut in programs or services, but we will have to if this levy doesn't pass."
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