(Posted Oct. 19, 2022)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
The Madison County Board of Developmental Disabilities (MCBDD) is seeking renewal of a 1-mill, five-year property tax levy for operation and maintenance of programs for people with disabilities.
The levy generates approximately $924,000 per year and represents about one-third of MCBDD’s local tax revenue. The cost to the taxpayer is $20.21 per year per $100,000 property valuation. If the levy is renewed, the cost will remain the same.
“Our system is unique compared to a lot of other (social service) systems. We serve individuals from the day they are born to the day they pass away. We serve them their entire lives,” said Susan Thompson, MCBDD superintendent.
Those services include:
• Service Coordination–Staff members help individuals and their teams to develop a plan that allows the individuals to live according to their needs and wishes. MCBDD staffers serve as the main point of contact and coordination between the person receiving services and the entities providing services and supports.
• Early Intervention: Staff works with parents of infants and toddlers with disabilities to enhance children’s learning through a collaborative, home- and community-based system.
• Preschool: Fairhaven School serves nearly 200 students ages 3 to 5 years old.
• Transition: MCBDD collaborates with local school districts and the Educational Service Center to help individuals with disabilities who are ages 14-22 with the transition out of school. Services include career exploration, job training, and more.
“You really need skills to be successful with that transition,” Thompson said. “Our staff does a fantastic job working with that age group.”
• Community Employment: MCBDD helps individuals with disabilities to find meaningful, fulfilling employment that meets their needs and desires.
“So many of our folks are working, paying taxes, and giving back to our community,” Thompson said. “It is such a valuable thing to the individuals we serve, to be out in the community and standing side by side with you and I as we do our jobs.”
• Health Service Coordination: Staff members help individuals with information about medication, medical providers, and possible interventions for existing conditions, as well as health education and training for individuals, parents and staff.
• Advocacy: MCBDD sponsors the Tiger Advocacy Group, a group of adults with a wide range of abilities who meet monthly to empower and support one another.
“They are doing amazing things,” Thompson said of the group.
• Transportation: This service is open to individuals with disabilities, local agencies, and all Madison County residents. MCBDD’s vehicles transport passengers to and from many different locations depending on their needs. Most of the vehicles are wheelchair accessible. Drivers are First Aid and CPR certified.
• Special Olympics/Recreation: The Madison County Tigers participate in a variety of sports. Recreation services also include activities like day and weekend trips, movies, crafts, festivals and museums.
• Residential Support: Staff works directly with individuals to make sure they have what they need to live in the community in a way that promotes their health and welfare.
• Adult Day Programming: Services include help with daily living skills and activities, personal care, vocational support, and community-based employment support.
• Non-Medical Transportation: This service provides transportation to day services, employment services, or places of employment.
Thompson said MCBDD has enjoyed ongoing support from the community for this wide range of services.
“We truly appreciate every voter in Madison County. We could not do what we do and take care of the people we serve if the community wasn’t so supportive of us,” she said.
Thompson praised the MCBDD staff for doing good work.
“My firm belief is that we pass a levy every day by the quality of services we provide. If you take care of people and provide good service, the taxpayers will support you,” she said.