voting

ASHLAND -- Ashland County voters are prompted to renew two countywide levies during the upcoming election. 

The November ballot features a 5-year, 1-mill renewal levy for Mental Health and Recovery Board and a 3-year, 2.1-mill renewal levy for the Dale-Roy School's programs and facilities.

The Mental Health and Recovery Board's levy costs a homeowner $28.37 per year on real estate with a $100,000 value, raising about $1.2 million annually. 

"With the levy, we don't have a lot of restrictions we have with state and federal dollars. It allows us to be agile, to make adjustments quickly and more effectively," said  Mental Health and Recovery Board of Ashland County Executive Director Steve Stone.

This was especially critical during the past year amid COVID-19 pandemic, he continued.

The levy funds a variety of programing, but the most significant is the School-Community Liaison Program, which began in 1999 as a collaborative effort between the Mental Health and Recovery Board of Ashland CountyAppleseed Community Mental Health Center and Ashland County’s public school districts.

The board committed to "growing and sustaining" the school liaison program in 2001 when the levy was initially passed. 

The program now employs 12 liaisons in six school districts. 

"We all know the earlier we can identify problems, the better chance of preventing problems down the road. We can change the trajectory of student's life," Stone said. 

The levy also funded a mobile app that launched earlier this year. 

The 3-year, 2.1 mill levy for the Dale-Roy School costs a homeowner $55.77 annually on real estate with a $100,000 value. It is expected to generate $1.9 million annually. 

"As an organization, we have worked really hard to get our financial situation in a good place. This levy is critical for continued operation," said Director of Community Relations/Medicaid Management Bruce Kramer.

He highlighted how the school has received no new tax income since 2001, despite serving an increased number of individuals and seeing an increased level of need. 

The levy amounts to about 34 percent of the Ashland County Board of Developmental Disabilities (ACBDD) annual projected revenue of $5,651,500, which is already short of its projected $6,300,000 in expenditures for 2020.

The ACBDD typically serves over 50 children annually through Early Intervention, birth through age 3, 32 school-aged students with special needs and more than 140 adults in Adult Day programs such as D-R Services, The Link, and Midwest.

Additionally, service coordinators currently provide case management to over 240 individuals including assessment, planning, referral, and monitoring of needed services.

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