MRDD to pay for audit by state

The MRDD board will buy four new buses.
AUSTINTOWN -- Mahoning County Board of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities will pay $67,000 to the state auditor's office for a performance audit.
The audit will compare the Mahoning County MRDD cost and personnel information with other MRDD boards with similar size and functions, said Larry Duck, MRDD superintendent.
The audit complies with a 2005 request by county commissioners that county agencies that seek tax levies to support human services programs conduct performance reviews.
The audit is to begin in July and be completed in December.
Other matters
The MRDD board also handled these matters at a meeting earlier this week:
Approved the lease/purchase of two 60-passenger and two 78-passenger buses. The board has a fleet of 34 large buses, including spare buses that are not regularly used to carry passengers because of age but are used as backup vehicles and for parts for repairs.
Authorized Duck to advertise for bids for a three-quarter-ton extended-cab pickup truck to replace a 1991 vehicle that has 201,000 miles on it.
Approved a contract with Northeast Ohio Network to administer the board's Family Support Services program from July 1 through Dec. 31. The Family Support Services program provides limited funding for respite services, supplies needed for the care of individuals with mental retardation and developmental disability needs.
Approved hourly wage increases for three types of substitute workers: substitute bus drivers, from $9 to $11.50; substitute bus aides, from $7 to $8; and substitute workshop specialists, from $7.50 to $8. The primary reason for the bus driver raises was the pattern of losing trained bus drivers to other school systems and MRDD boards that pay higher rates. In 2005, Duck said the Mahoning MRDD board lost 70 percent of the drivers trained that year. He said the estimated cost of the pay changes will be about $39,000 per year.
State recognition
Duck said the county MRDD board will be recognized by the Ohio Public Images Network at a statewide event in Columbus on Thursday for its public awareness efforts regarding MRDD services and community issues.

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