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MAHONING COUNTY Commission won't split funds between shelters



Published: Fri, February 1, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



One group wanted some of the license fee pot last year.

By BOB JACKSON

VINDICATOR COURTHOUSE REPORTER

YOUNGSTOWN -- There was no dispute this year over who gets revenue from marriage license fees in Mahoning County.

County commissioners voted Thursday to hand all the revenue to the Burdman Group, which operates the Sojourner House shelter for battered women and children. The measure passed without discussion.

The funding was a bone of contention a year ago between groups who offer domestic violence shelter services. Under Ohio law, $17 from each marriage license fee is set aside for funding domestic violence shelters. Mahoning County generally brings in about $55,000 a year.

Request: The Burdman Group historically had received all of that money in Mahoning County. But last year, the Alliance Area Domestic Violence Shelter, based in Stark County, asked for a piece of the pie.

Officials there said the shelter provides services to families who live in the Sebring and Beloit areas, which are in Mahoning County but closer to Alliance. Since the Alliance facility serves Mahoning County women, it deserves a share of the county's funding, officials there said. The Burdman Group opposed a split, saying it needed all the funding to operate.

Commissioners ultimately opted against splitting the money last year and gave it all to the Burdman Group, saying money should stay in the county where it's generated.

Commissioner Ed Reese said the Stark County group did not ask for a share of the funding this year.

Barbara Abraham, executive director, said she felt treated unfairly by commissioners last year so did not bother asking for funding this year.

Grant sought: Commissioners also voted to apply for a $300,000 grant from the Ohio Department of Development. If approved, the money will be used to help fund a $402,000 improvement project in Sebring, said Joseph Caruso, special projects director.

The project will include new storm sewers and catch basins to alleviate flooding problems along 14th Street, between Ohio and Pennsylvania avenues. It also will include improvements to the area's streets, curbs, sidewalks and waterlines.

bjackson@vindy.com




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