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Tri-county program gets $400K

Published October 28. 2013 05:00PM

Carbon County officials announced that the state earmarked $408,839 for mental health and developmental services in Carbon, Monroe and Pike counties.

During the county commissioners' meeting on Thursday, Commissioner William O'Gurek said that the county received notification from Dennis Marion, deputy secretary of the state Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, that the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare was providing a one-time supplemental mental health services allocation in accordance with Act 87 of 2012.

The money will be used by the Carbon-Monroe-Pike Mental Health/Developmental Services on various programs, as well as possibly on vehicle replacements and necessary upgrades.

According to Marion, the allocation was determined based the Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities county and other funded eligible costs over allocation as reported in fiscal year 2011-2012 reports, the 2000 census and 2011 census estimates and previous MH and ID base allocations.

No county matching funds are required for the allocation and it will not affect any future payments to DPW.

O'Gurek complimented the DPW on the allocation because in recent years, the state has been cutting funding for MH/DS services.

"This is very good news because we were not expecting it," he said. "This will help the program catch up a bit with some of the things that we're not able to keep pace with because of the lack of funding."

O'Gurek noted that the commissioners will be meeting with Monroe and Pike county commissioners on Monday to determine how the three-county program will use the funds.

The money will not be used for developing new programs, which as O'Gurek pointed out, would not be funded in the future.

It can be used to help current programs where cuts occurred in the past; as well as vehicle replacement to help provide services.

O'Gurek said that purchasing a new roof on a home owned by MH/DS in Carbon where clients are housed will be under consideration.

Other items to be looked into include training the trainer to help current programs and will provide more services in the future; and increasing services to non-medical assistance recipients.

O'Gurek also discussed a second piece of correspondence from Fred C. Lokuta, DPW deputy secretary, regarding the primary allocations for Intellectual Disabilities Community Base Program.

The county provides intellectual services to people who are significantly below the general average in intellectual functioning, he said.

O'Gurek said that the allocation is approximately $2.2 million, which is what the county received for fiscal year 2012-2013.

In other matters, Commissioner Thomas J. Gerhard announced that the county received a $1,000 donation from a mother and daughter for the county animal shelter. He voiced his appreciation for the family's support.

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