(Posted April 18, 2018)
By Christine Bryant, Staff Writer
The Madison County Board of Developmental Disabilities (MCBDD) is asking voters to renew a five-year, 1-mill tax levy to help fund support services.
The levy generates about $850,000 annually. Last renewed in 2013, the levy costs the owner of a $100,000 home $20.83 each year. If voters approve the renewal on May 8, the cost would remain the same for the next five years.
“The voters have been very supportive of our program over the years,” said Susan Thompson, MCBDD superintendent. “We are very proud of that and of our community.”
The public’s support is critical in funding the daily support services MCBDD provides, Thompson said. While the organization receives funding at the federal, state and local levels, it’s the local levy that helps to sustain many of the services the organization offers.
These include Special Olympics, the Madison County Ride transportation program, and operation of Fairhaven School, which serves students with disabilities.
The levy also provides funding for residential support for individuals with disabilities. The organization funds roughly 40 percent of the costs for these services, with the federal government covering the remaining portion.
“Our match obligation is about $1.5 million a year,” Thompson said.
Of the 400 Madison County residents MCBDD serves, nearly 80 children ages 0 to 3 years old with special needs are enrolled in early intervention programs.
“These children get help in speech therapy, physical therapy and occupational therapy,” Thompson said. “I feel that with our early intervention programs, that’s where you can make the biggest impact on an individual’s life and have the largest impact on families.”
Should the renewal levy fail in May, Thompson says the organization will have another chance to gain voters’ approval in November.
“We hopefully can avoid that, but if it doesn’t pass, we would have to look at our mandated versus non-mandated services,” Thompson said.
She added that she is confident that with the community’s help, MCBDD will continue to serve residents for as long as they need help.
“We take care of folks for years and years and really get to know them, and it truly is a great thing,” Thompson said.
For more information on the Madison County Board of Developmental Disabilities, go to co.madison.oh.us/DD.