BC DD board approves 2013 budget

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Members of the Barry County Tax Board for the Developmentally Disabled (BCDD) approved the proposed 2013 budget during the Jan. 28 meeting in Cassville.

The proposed budget includes $350,000 for the purchase of services, $2,500 for a fidelity bond to cover the board, $3,000 for errors and omissions coverage and $3,500 for postage, supplies and dues. The board anticipates $315,000 in revenue from the tax.

Board members heard from Kathy Backs, with Community Support Services, concerning a fiscal crisis taking place at Joplin Regional Center, causing a hold on new placements and comprehensive services.

"The Partnership of Hope waiver helps keep clients from having to seek placement," Backs said.

"The current [clients] are funded, is that correct?" asked Jim LeCompte, BCDD board president.

"Yes," Backs replied. "It is causing a serious issue as case management tries to meet new client needs. They're out of money now and the fiscal year doesn't begin until July 1."

"There are continuing needs," LeCompte said. "It doesn't just stop."

George White, from Camp Barnabas, told board members of a new program at the camp that serves as a college-type environment for developmentally disabled clients.

"Our goal at the camp is to impact families beyond the one week of summer camp," White said. "We've started this nine-month program for clients to learn life and job skills in a residential housing program."

This is the second year the camp has hosted the classes, serving 11 client students this year, compared to six last year.

"The program is set up like college," White continued. "Our clients have semesters and a fall, winter and spring break. They attend classes and occupational therapy sessions daily from September through May."

The program is initially being offered to camp families, many who attend classes from out of state. Cost of the semester is $8,860. Partial funding comes from the student's family, but program organizers are currently seeking additional sources of revenue.

"Our goal is to get individuals involved in the community, get jobs and live independently," White said.

"It makes sense to utilize the facility more than just throughout the summer," LeCompte said. "This is a good next step."

Mica Plummer, director of the Monett Area Extended Employment (Sheltered) Workshop, approached the board concerning funding for balers to be used in the facility's recycling program.

"I approached the Lawrence County board," Plummer said. "They only want to pay 36 percent of the total cost based on the number of clients they have at the workshop."

"But they would be using it 50 percent of the time, just like Barry County [clients] would," said Florene Towers, board member.

Board members, who had already agreed to fund 50 percent of the purchase, declined to pick up the remaining 14 percent of the overall $21,384 purchase for two balers.

Towers also questioned Plummer about work at the facility.

"All of our regular customers have lost customers themselves," Plummer replied. "They're keeping the jobs they used to send us in-house now. Recycling is boring, tedious work, but it's work. It's better than no work."

Plummer also reported proceeds from the Exeter property sale are being used to make repairs at the Monett workshop in the event of an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspection.

In other business, Marvin Phipps reported six unused grant requests that were returned to the board's general fund.

Those included $8,225 from Camp Barnabas in unused camper scholarships; $5,270 from the Monett Area Workshop for transportation; $649 from Champion Athletes; $361 from the Lawrence County Tax Board for the Developmentally Disabled for Expo funding; $2,581 and $2,843 from two different Arc of the Ozarks programs.

The next meeting of the BCDD board will be at 7 p.m. on Monday, April 22 at the Cassville Branch Library.

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