Cherokee County might be forced to reduce mental health services in the future because there simply is not funding to continue programs at the present level.
The matter was discussed during the Jan. 15 meeting of the Cherokee County Board of Supervisors, during a presentation of the case management cost report by Lisa Langlitz, community services director.
The county levies the maximum amount for mental health services, state and federal funding is stagnant and the county has spent down reserves. This leaves the county with little choice but to decide what to cut.
"Look at who it's affecting -- disabled people," Terry Graybill, supervisor, said, "How do you explain a waiting list to them?"
"You can't," responded Langlitz.
Jeff Simonsen, board of supervisors chairman, questioned the system of funding mental health services. "No other state funds mental health with property tax," Simonsen said.
Librarians and library board members from the libraries in Cherokee County attended the Tuesday supervisor meeting to make an annual request for funding from the county.
Bonnie Conley, Aurelia Library director, explained that the focus of libraries is not on what services to add, but rather on how to maintain services in light of increased expenses. Libraries are being hit hard by such inflationary factors as the increase in heating cost and the increase in minimum wage.
Conley noted that librarians need to be cross-trained in various fields including how to maintain a website and how to help people use the Internet as well as who the favorite authors are.
"There's a lot going on at the library, more than just checking out books," Mary Jo Rupert, Cherokee Library director, said.
Chuck Tolzin of the Cherokee County Fair Board presented the annual funding request for the Cherokee County Fair.
Tolzin said that a carnival has been lined up for next year, a carnival that is reliable. In the past, there have been repeated instances of carnivals not showing up.
There will be some changes planned for the upcoming fair. There will not be a tractor pull. There will possibly be an additional evening of Go-Kart racing on Friday evening.
Tolzin reported that the next major capital improvement project being considered is replacement of water lines. The present lines are old and deteriorating. They are also buried too shallow, only two feet, making it necessary to drain and blow out the lines before winter.
Despite the fact that the lines are shallow, leaks are often not detected soon because the soil is sandy underneath.