Lawrence County tax levy
The head of Lawrence County Developmental Disabilities took to social media to defend the organization’s decision to place a tax levy on the ballot for March 17. Voters rejected a levy back in November.
In a video posted on their Facebook page, Superintendent Julie Monroe explained the reasoning behind the levy, saying that the LCDD had avoided asking for additional taxpayer funds by utilizing their carryover funds and cutting costs. Monroe said carryover funds were especially important to begin each year and to pay for unforeseen expenses. LCDD is facing a deficit of $900,000 at the end of 2020 which will increase to over $2 million by 2021.
She said their finances are carefully monitored by the Ohio Department of Disabilities and they are included in the Lawrence County audit as well. “All of our finances are accounted for at both the state and local level.” Monroe pointed out that LCDD hadn’t been on the ballot since 2006. “In the last 14 years, the cost to provide services has steadily increased while the value of our levy has decreased.” The decrease is due to the drop in property values. The rejected levy was 2.5 mill 10-year levy. The current levy is 1.75 mill 5-year levy.
Monore said that LCDD provides many services that people aren’t aware of, “When you see someone with a developmental disability receiving help from a provider in the grocery store, at the doctor’s office, their church, or in their homes to cook and care for themselves, LCDD is helping to fund those services, and we are mandated by the State of Ohio to do so.”
Staff from LCDD accompanied by kids from Open Door school stopped by the Lawrence County Commissioners meeting to kick off Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month on Tuesday and to address what they called “rumors and misinformation” about how LCDD spends its money.
As part of a cost-cutting strategy, the LCDD Board has taken some unpopular actions by shutting down programs that aren’t mandated by the state. They downsized the number of buildings and are moving the Open Door School to the Tri-State Industries building in Coal Grove and ending the LCDD preschool program at the Early Childhood Center in South Point in May of this year.
Monroe said anyone with questions about their finances could email the agency at infor@ awrencedd.org or call 740-532-7401.