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Morning Sun
  • County hears from RJA on grants, service cuts

  • It was good news and bad news Tuesday for Crawford County Commissioners.



    The good news came from Angie Hadley, Restorative Justice Authority program coordinator, who told commissioners about a supplemental block grant received from the state for the Restorative Justice Authority. Additional funding provided will be $9,794.

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  • It was good news and bad news Tuesday for Crawford County Commissioners.
    The good news came from Angie Hadley, Restorative Justice Authority program coordinator, who told commissioners about a supplemental block grant received from the state for the Restorative Justice Authority. Additional funding provided will be $9,794.
    “Considering the cuts we’ve had over the past few years, every little bit helps,” Hadley said.
    She explained that the grant had to be used for a new program or some change in an existing program.
    “We’d like to add a class to our Thinking for a Change program to serve more clients,” Hadley said. “Instead of having three classes, we’ll have four.”
    Thinking for a Change is a behavioral change program that includes cognitive restructuring, social skills development and development of problem solving skills.
    “This is an after-school program, and we’re having our first summer class this summer,” Hadley said.
    “Any opportunity you have to change the course of their lives, it’s a tool,” said commissioner Linda Grilz.
    Richard Pfeiffer, Crawford County Health Department executive administrator, however, fears he may have to cut services due to lack of funds.
    “I’ve submitted my budgets to you as requested,” he said. “I always said that I would not close a program down or modify a program without talking to you.”
    Pfeiffer noted that youth services have historically been underfunded, but that funds from Mental Health have made up the difference.
    “In 2013 and 2014, I will not have those monies,” he said. “With the state going to KanCare, I just think we’re going to have a hard time getting paid.”
    Pfeiffer said the program he sees at high crisis levels is the Discovery Preschool Group, an early childhood mental health intervention program that is geared to help each child’s emotional and social development and prepare them for success in a typical school setting.
    “We’ve sustained ourselves because we’ve been transferring money,” Pfeiffer said. “Last year, we broke even; this year we’ll have a deficit. We’ve dropped 10 case managers and other staff.”
    “We’d want your department to grow and provide jobs,” Grilz said.
    She noted that the focus on children has been lost.
    “Now the focus is on business,” Grilz said. “Ten years, 20 years down the road, all of us will pay for that. All these kids we could have impacted may do wrong rather than do right.”
    Commissioner Carl Wood asked if the other counties served have stepped up with their share of the expenses.
    “They have for the detention center,” Pfeiffer said. “The alcohol-drug facility is state-based, and it’s a struggle to keep it funded. I’ve been told that alcohol-drug will be the best revenue-generating program we have because of the health care law.”
    Page 2 of 2 - In other business, the commission approved a recommendation from the Planning and Zoning Board to allow Jennifer Rice/Worrell to build a kennel, known as Ricenick Kennels LCC, at 154 S. Highway 69.
    “It will be to the east of Dink’s Barn, and Rick Elnicki has given an easement for a drive into the kennel,” said Judy Freeman, county zoning administrator. “This has met with no opposition at all.”
    She added that the kennel owner has given the stipulation that there will not be more than 300 dogs at the site. Rice/Worrell said that she breeds smaller dogs, such as French bulldogs, cairn terriers and dachshunds, but also larger dogs such as standard poodles.
     

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