BarCo board approves over $80,000 in funding

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Joplin Regional Center accounts for majority of appropriations

This quarter, the Barry County Tax Board for the Developmentally Disabled approved $81,348 in grant requests from providers.

Joplin Regional Office received a grant request for $79,616 in total.

According to Terri Yelton, provider relations, a portion of the grant, $26,400 for three individuals plus one additional slot for the community waiver funds, is part of an effort to reduce a waiting list for individuals in Barry County.

A total of $23,216 will be used to continue funding for non-waivered services for two individuals. It includes a cost-of-living increases for the contracted provider.

Thirty thousand dollars of the grant will be used to support individuals receiving Arc Individual and Day Habilitation services for 20 individuals for the calendar year.

Michael Cassity, a Drury University professor of graduate music therapy studies, has received a grant in the amount of $4,416 for art therapy services for DD clients.

Cassity said the pilot program's participants has been referred by service coordinators and several had already signed up to participate.

Cassity also indicated he is hiring an individual with a degree in art therapy to conduct the program, which would be overseen by himself.

"Some people with low cognitive skills have a talent for art," Cassity said. "Their art will be displayed at an open house showing later this year. We will also question clients and their parents or caregivers at the end of the program to get their feedback."

Cost of the service is $64 per hour, and will serve 18 clients of both Lawrence and Barry counties. The Barry County grant was matched by the Lawrence County DD Tax Board.

Champion Athletes requested funding in the amount of $1,232 for bowling at the Strike Zone and swimming/water aerobics at the Monett Area YMCA.

According to Susan Miles, director of Champion Athletes, the grant will cover the cost of bowling, tournaments, meals and medals for approximately 40 participants and three water aerobics sessions for four individuals throughout the year.

A $500 grant to help fund this year's Transition and Resource Expo was also approved. The annual event provides information for caregivers and family members on employment opportunities, case management, transition services, community activities, colleges and financial aid, self-directed services, future planning, guardianship, legal services and assistive technology, among other services.

The proposed 2014 budget was approved, which includes: $2,500 for errors and omissions insurance for the tax board members; $400,000 for services; $3,500 for postage and dues; and $1,000 for the annual Barry County audit.

"This is based on anticipated tax revenues of $350,000," said Jim LeCompte, board chairman.

If expenses for services meet or exceed the estimated $400,000 budgeted for the year, the board has some reserves with who to meet the difference.

The board operates on funds collected by Barry County property taxpayers.

The next meeting of the Barry County DD Board will be at 7 p.m. on Monday, April 7 at the Cassville Branch Library in Cassville.

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