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County mental health to be slashed $343,183

December 20, 2012
By Michael Tidemann - Staff Writer , Estherville Daily News

State-mandated redesign is going to slash the amount of money Emmet County can levy for mental health by $343,183, Dorothy Christensen, Emmet County mental health coordinator, told the Emmet County Board of Supervisors Tuesday.

Christensen said the cuts come under legislation in Senate File 2315 limiting the amount each county can levy for mental health to $47.28 per capita, making a total levy of $477,717. That compares with $820,900 the county levies currently.

By contrast, counties that already have a levy rate of under $47.28 will have the difference backfilled by the state, Christensen said.

Article Photos

The chart above shows proposed mental-health regions.

Meanwhile, counties must fund help to the mentally ill and intellectually disabled. Christensen said though the state isn't mandating that counties help persons with brain injury but who have not been diagnosed as developmentally disabled. Other groups left out could be those with Asperger's, autism or cerebral palsy. Those groups could be helped if funding allowed, Christensen said.

"Nothing's been fair about this mental health funding since day one," Christensen said. "I'm going to have to drastically cut services."

Also mandated by the state is that counties must form mental-health regions comprised of a minimum of three counties.

"I can't fund all the core services July 1, 2013, and we will be cutting people out of core services," Christensen said.

Christensen said after the last mental-health consortium meeting in December, county supervisors representing the respective counties scheduled a regional meeting on Jan. 9, 2013.

Also at Tuesday's meeting, Roger Patocka, Emmet County engineer; reported crews moving snow.

Sheriff Martens announced Becky Haase, Emmet County dispatcher, was going to retire.

The Safety Committee requested appointment of two board members as member and alternate for coming year.



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