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TRUMBULL COUNTY Mental health group prepares for cuts



Published: Wed, May 8, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Voters passed most issues in Trumbull County.

By DENISE DICK

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

WARREN -- More cuts are expected at the 28 agencies which provide services through Trumbull LifeLines.

For the second time, voters rejected a 1-mill, 10-year levy to support what was formerly called the Trumbull County Alcohol, Drug & amp; Mental Health Board.

"There will probably be additional cuts," said Richard Darkangelo, executive director, who retires next month. "We cut out $1 million last year, and we'll probably have to cut another $200,000 plus now."

Most other issues on Tuesday's ballot in Trumbull County fared better.

Voters in the Champion and Girard school districts approved renewal levies of 2.5 mills and 4 mills, respectively.

Brookfield, Mesopotamia and Orangeville voters approved levies for fire protection, and Warren voters approved two ordinances allowing for the bulk purchase of natural gas and electricity.

The Warren vote enrolls the city in the Northeast Ohio Public Energy Consortium, a group of about 90 communities working to buy electricity and natural gas at a lower rate.

Darkangelo believes an anti-tax attitude and a lack of knowledge of the services provided by LifeLines contributed to the levy's defeat. Light voter turnout also may have been a factor, he said.

Programs

LifeLines agencies provide clinical services to about 10,000 people annually and preventive services for about 20,000.

"One in five people are affected by mental illness, and one in 10 are affected by drugs and alcohol," Darkangelo said.

The board will have to decide whether to put the levy on the November ballot.

"We have to continue to try to do a better job to educate the electorate," he said.

LifeLines' programs include Warren Urban Minority Alcohol, Drug Abuse Outreach Program, Valley Counseling Services of Warren, York Avenue Church of God Treatment Center and the Rebecca Williams Community Center.

The agency changed its name to Trumbull LifeLines last year after 34 years as Trumbull County Alcohol, Drug & amp; Mental Health Board to try to promote understanding of the services it provides.

"On the positive side, we've come a long way in a year," Darkangelo said. "More people know what LifeLines is and what we do."




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