The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Local News

January 24, 2013

Officials work to stretch mental health dollars

CLINTON — Mental health in Clinton County faces an uncertain fate as the Mental Health Redesign takes its toll on the budget.

Revenue dropped from $9.1 million last year to $2,642,429 for Fiscal Year 2014, as presented during a budget presentation to the Clinton County Board of Supervisors this week.

“We are plugging along and trying to plan as best as we can with what we have,” Clinton County Mental Health Coordinator Becky Eskildsen said.

State legislators passed the bill on mental health and disability redesign last spring in an effort to even out services to the state. All counties will move toward a statewide average in property taxes collected for mental-health services at $47.28.

Some counties, like Clinton, will take large cuts, while others will see little change. With taxpayers going from paying $58.71 to the new rate, county officials are left stretching the budget as far as it will go. The county loses more than $10 per taxpayer leading to a $561,224 budget cut for the county’s mental health services.

Regionalization is also a big part of the plan. Mental health services will change from being managed by county supervisors to regional boards consisting of supervisors from multiple counties. Clinton has teamed up with Cedar, Jackson, Muscatine and Scott counties to form a regional mental health board. This leaves a very uncertain budget for Eskildsen to deal with.

“I don’t know what we will see in the next fiscal year,” Eskildsen said. “We are just dealing with the changes and waiting to see what happens.”

There are no increases to providers in the 2014 budget. The only services that will be funded at 100 percent county tax dollars are Sheltered Workshop Services, Residential Care Facilities, costs related to a mental health commitment and mental health services including prescription medications.

Eskildsen is recommending the county discontinue a waiting list for services in 2014. Individuals will need to access all Medicaid funded services prior to accessing county dollars as set forth in the County Management Plan.

“We will try everything we can to make them eligible for Medicaid funding,” Eskildsen said.

No dollars in the budget have been assigned to cover claims owed to the state on behalf of previous Medicaid funded services, which currently total $1.2 million. The department plans to continue to slowly pay down this amount beginning with the oldest claims.

The office budget is $238,630, which includes an increase for the Central Point of Coordination director of 2 percent and increases as set forth under the Collective Bargaining Agreement for one full-time County Social Worker and one full-time administrative assistant. General operating expenses are $12,740 to include longevity, mileage,education, postage and computer upgrades if needed.

Total projected revenue of $2,642,429 includes property taxes, State Payment Program and mental health cost recovery.

The Board of Supervisors will continue to piece together the budget with a work session on Friday at 1 p.m. As far as mental health, only time will tell.

“Hopefully this budget will make sense, we will have to wait until the end of the legislative session,” Eskildsen said.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Middle School photo 2 Touring the unfinished Clinton MS (With Video)

    CLINTON -- Project manager Eric White and his construction group Estes are still half a year away from unveiling the new Clinton Middle School. Even though weather has set workers back by nearly three months, school officials were pleased with the bu

    April 22, 2014 4 Photos

  • City of Fulton will retain marina control FULTON, Ill. -- For at least one more year the city of Fulton will retain control of a municipal marina despite one local businessman's request to gain partial ownership. During a City Council meeting Monday, local boat repairman Donnie Saiter's requ

    April 22, 2014

  • Work still needed on legal services CLINTON -- During Tuesday's meeting, the Clinton City Council is expected to finalize its agreement with Cedar Rapids firm Lynch Dallas, officially filling Clinton's city attorney void that has lasted nearly five months. The firm's scope, spelled ou

    April 21, 2014

  • Day helps Fulton clean FULTON, Ill. Ever wonder what to do with old electronic devices or household appliances that no longer work? Well, Fulton city officials also pondered that question, which is why they created Fulton Recycling Day. From 8 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Fulton

    April 21, 2014

  • Clean-Up Day service project will spruce up city of Clinton

    CLINTON Spring is finally here but with it's arrival it has revealed an unsightly truth in downtown Clinton -- a lot of trash littered on the city streets. In an attempt to reduce the amount of trash, elected officials, city staff and volunteers wil

    April 21, 2014

  • Clinton looks into roadway safety upgrades Herald Staff Report Clinton looks into roadway safety upgrades

    April 19, 2014

  • John Hood A year after 'chaos'

    It happened two hours after John Hood finished his run. Like many, he thought the loud boom was just the sound of cannons going off, something that shook the ground. It was odd, but Hood — a 1989 Clinton High School graduate — tried to make it logical, associating the noise with another good happening at the Boston Marathon.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Theft trial for man charged in Wolfe sisters' murders

    A western Pennsylvania man accused of having robbed and killed his next-door neighbors, two sisters of Iowa Rep. Mary Wolfe, now also faces trial on charges that he stole another woman's wedding ring a year ago.

    State police in Greensburg allege that 43-year-old Allen Wade of East Liberty, Pa., stole the ring while delivering a refrigerator to a home in April 2013. Westmoreland County Common Pleas Judge Rita Hathaway on Thursday agreed to schedule the case for trial.

    April 18, 2014

  • More felonies added to sex abuse charges CLINTON -- A Clinton man already facing multiple felony charges for allegedly sexually abusing a child is now facing six more felonies for sexual exploitation of a child. Tony D. James, 45, was charged this past weekend with six counts of sexual expl

    April 18, 2014

  • Wildlife service to conduct burnings CLINTON -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will conduct several prescribed burns this spring. The burns will take place on the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge in Carroll and Jo Daviess counties. Sites planned for burning

    April 18, 2014

Facebook
Clinton

Camanche
Fulton
Clinton Herald photos


Browse, buy and submit pictures with our photo site.