More money for early intervention services

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(Posted June 25, 2018)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

Local leaders have negotiated more funding to provide early intervention services to children ages birth to 3 years old.

Madison County Family Council receives a grant each year from The Ohio Department of Disabilities (DOD) to provide those services. Originally, this year’s allocation was $160,000. Family Council asked for more and secured another $32,000 to bring the total to $192,000.

The Madison County office coordinates the early intervention program locally and in Union County. The program serves 40 families in Madison County, with one caseload coordinator, and 80 families in Union County, with two caseload coordinators.

“And we have at least 30 other pending referrals coming through since the end of May,” said Jenn Coleman, Family Council and Systems of Care coordinator.

The program provides parenting support and links to services provided by other agencies. As an example, Coleman said her department can connect parents of infants to Lifecare Alliance for free baby formula.

Early intervention services are available to low-income parents whose children meet the age requirement.

The Madison County commissioners signed off on the DOD grant agreement on June 19.

The commissioners also held the monthly Park District board meeting that day.

County Engineer Bryan Dhume reported that the final cost of the Roberts Pass Trail extension was $69,650. The estimate was $78,000. Friends of Madison County Parks and Trails (FMCPT) has raised over $55,000 toward the cost. They plan to raise the rest before the year is out.

Dhume said his office has started regular inspections of the entire trail to keep tabs on mowing, brush cutting, and surface conditions.

Julia Cumming, consultant to the park district board, said Gospel Road, a church-based volunteer group, will be cleaning up the Prairie Grass trailhead and building an information kiosk at the Little Darby State Scenic River Preserve in Monroe Township.

She also advised the commissioners of meetings the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and Ohio Trails Partnership are holding to create the state’s next plan for recreational trails.

Commissioner David Hunter said he would join FMCPT representatives at the June 26 meeting in Delaware.

Cumming said the meetings are a chance for local trail organizers and supporters to make their voices heard at the state level.

In other business, the commissioners held a bid opening for bridge and road resurfacing work on Old Columbus Road at Choctaw Lake. One company, The Shelly Co. out of Findlay, Ohio, submitted a bid of $998,308. The engineer’s estimate was $1,012,536. Dhume will review the bid and make a recommendation at the commissioners’ June 26 meeting.

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