Morrow DD director fields levy questions

By Alberta Stojkovic - For the Sentinel

MORROW COUNTY — Morrow County Board of Developmental Disabilities (Morrow DD) Director Nancy Foglesong has received feedback and questions about the countywide issue on the ballot May 3.

Foglesong wants to make it clear that this levy is the only levy Morrow County has for people with developmental disabilities and explain the need for changes in the present levy.

“Levies can be confusing, so we want to be very clear,” Foglesong said.

She went on to explain that the current levy in effect is a 3-mill levy, but the effective millage has reduced over the years as property values have increased.

This replacement levy request is seeking to replace the 3-mill levy with an increase of 1 mill. The resulting levy will be 4 mills. This is the only levy Morrow County has for people with developmental disabilities.

The local, county levy provides the matching funds needed for Medicaid services, like residential, community, day and transportation services. Counties send their matching funds to the state, which are combined with state and federal funds to pay service providers.

Without sufficient local funds, federal Medicaid funding is lost and the number of people supported is greatly reduced. There is now a waiting list of some children and adults who have need of services.

The increase in this levy is needed to meet the greatest needs, which currently include the growth in referrals for Early Intervention therapies and services for children 0-3 years old.

There is also need for community and residential services and supports for adults, particularly aging adults whose caretakers are no longer able to provide support. Transition supports for students and young adults 14-22 years old is needed and locally funded support of children and families with complex needs. There are emergency needs of people who face very challenging and sometimes dangerous situations, like the death of their caretaker, abuse, neglect, manipulation and trafficking.

This increase, which is less than $4.50 per month for a $100,000 property value, will bring Morrow County closer to the average of 5-6 mills of similar counties.

By Alberta Stojkovic

For the Sentinel