Thursday, January 29, 2004

Money reallocated to veterans service

By Erica Solvig
The Cincinnati Enquirer

LEBANON - Warren County commissioners Tuesday earmarked nearly $150,000 for the Veterans Service Commission after a miscommunication during the appropriation process put the money under another agency's budget.

County officials had earlier thought that the veterans' commission was in favor of giving the money to Warren County One-Stop Business and Employment Center as long as it was slated for veterans. But the veterans' commission wanted the money in its budget to ensure veterans got the job assistance and training.

"We had talked to One Stop," veterans' commission president Tom Britton said. "Our question was what happens if a veteran comes in and needs money and you don't have it. They told us 'they will be put on a waiting list until such time we do get it.' That's not the way it works, folks. We're here to take care of the veterans."

County Commissioners Pat South and Larry Crisenbery said the county was not trying to deny veterans any funding, but that it was simply a miscommunication with county officials. Commissioner Mike Kilburn was not at Tuesday's meeting.

"Under no circumstances I don't think there should ever be a waiting list for veterans, not with this additional funding," Crisenbery said. "So often the veterans are forgotten and shoved to the back and they've got hard times too, just like all of us."

Veterans officials will be working with One Stop to make sure the agencies are not duplicating services.

The $148,500 approved Tuesday puts the veterans commission's budget at slightly more than $1 million. The commission helps veterans and their dependents with basic needs, such as rent, food and transportation, and provides other services such as job assistance.


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