The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Local News

October 31, 2012

Clinton County braces for dip in mental health revenue

County warned of impact mental health redesign will have on funding

CLINTON — Clinton County Mental Health Coordinator Becky Eskildsen told the Board of Supervisors that the county will probably not receive transition funds from the state to cover costs in the years to come.

Mental health redesign transition funds are for a one-time assistance to help counties get through fiscal year 2013 due to changes in funds coming from the state, such as allowable growth and property tax relief.

Eskildsen pointed out that the state has not even appropriated any money yet for transition funds.

The board went ahead and approved the application for transition funds.

Eskildsen said they should still send the application in to have it on record that they are seeking funds. While the county will have funds in the 2013 fiscal year, Eskildsen worried about the years after that.

“I had never said that fiscal year 13 was going to be the tough year. It’s going to be fiscal year 14 and 15 and beyond when we lose our property tax revenue coming in and we have our $600,000, if you will, shortfall,” she said.

In fiscal year 2015, Eskildsen projects that there will be a carryover of approximately $155,000. In 2016, she expects the county to see a negative amount. Eskildsen said they are working on moving as many services to Medicare as they possibly can. She said she is also waiting to see how the rest of the region deals with the issues.

“It’s going to be painful getting us through that first three months when we actually have no money coming in at all and we don’t have any money even to carry over,” Eskildsen said. “Don’t quite know what we’re supposed to do at that point.”

Eskildsen also cautioned the board that if they lose revenue coming from other tax sources, funds could drop even lower.

“That just ebbs and flows with how the board does property taxes,” Eskildsen said.

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