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COLUMBIANA COUNTY Shortfall in state budget means cuts in services



Published: Thu, July 4, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Head lice prevention and drug and alcohol counseling programs are among those affected.

By NORMAN LEIGH

VINDICATOR SALEM BUREAU

LISBON -- Several social services programs funded through a Co lumbiana County agency will not be renewed this year as the result of state budget cuts and higher health insurance costs.

The state cuts triggered a $350,000 loss to the county department of job and family services, Eileen Dray-Bardon, agency director, told commissioners Wednesday.

The programs affected typically are run by private, nonprofit agencies that are contracted by the county to provide certain services.

The contracts with those agencies expired June 30.

Contracts that won't be renewed include those for programs providing drug and alcohol abuse prevention education for young people, alcohol and drug counseling for adults, nutrition education, self-esteem instruction for young people, and head lice prevention training.

Rides to jobs

A program that furnishes rides to poor people so they can get to work or job training will be continued, but its scope will be reduced, Dray-Bardon said.

The state cut funding to job and family services agencies throughout Ohio as part of a move to address severe shortfalls in the state budget.

By not renewing certain contracts, the county agency is saving about $650,000.

That's more than the $350,000 loss from the state, Dray-Bardon pointed out. But her agency had to save additional money to pay for a $232,000 increase in health-care insurance premiums affecting department employees.

The $350,000 in state cuts and $232,000 higher insurance premiums amounts to $582,000.

The $68,000 difference between that figure and the $650,000 saved through nonrenewed social services contracts will be set aside for contingencies, Dray-Bardon explained.

leigh@vindy.com




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