Monday, October 29, 2001

Mental retardation levy in Clermont

By Lew Moores
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The Clermont County Board of Mental Retardation/Developmental Disabilities is asking residents to approve an additional tax levy for services to children and adults that will replace the current levy when it expires in December 2002.

        If passed Nov. 6, the additional five-year, 1.88-mill levy will eventually replace a 0.75-mill levy that board officials say doesn't meet the needs of the community.

Check candidates and issues in four counties
        The levy is the only countywide issue on the ballot.

        There are 17 issues in various Clermont County communities on the ballot, including levies to cover operating expenses, for police and fire protection, school issues and Sunday sales local options.

        A mayor will be elected in the village of Felicity, and there are council races in 11 municipalities.

        There are also trustee races in 14 townships, and school board races in nine districts.

        The new MRDD levy would generate about $6.3 million a year, according to the Clermont County auditor's office. It would cost the owner of a $100,000 home in the county about $84 a year once the old levy expires, according to the auditor. The current levy generates about $2 million a year.

        “If we were to just renew the current levy again, it would just keep our program running on an even keel,” said Lisa Davis, director of community relations for the MRDD board. “And we have two waiting lists. We have 54 people who are waiting for adult services, and over 100 people that are waiting for a supported-living service, which is a residential service. We wouldn't be able to help them.”

        In the past year the MRDD board has served about 1,300 people. About 62 percent of the MRDD board's budget comes from funds generated by the levy. Federal and state money makes up the rest of the budget.


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