SCIOTO — On what was a strange and different primary election, voters, who mostly voted by mail in Scioto County, passed the renewal levy that the Scioto County Developmental Disabilities had on the ballot.
Speaking with Matt Purcell, Superintendent of the Board of Scioto County Developmental Disabilities Program, it was easy to tell how pleased he was that the voters of Scioto County passed the levy.
“It’s hard to put it into words, I received a call about 8:15 p.m. Tuesday with the unofficial, results and was just overcome with joy,” Purcell said. “It was humbling when you think about what you mean as an organization to the county. By a very large margin, we got our answer, and it makes us feel good.”
Purcell said he thinks back when the organization started campaigning months ago and about all the staff that worked voluntarily.
“The hour’s folks put in, of course not for me, they did that for the over 650 people that we serve in the county,” Purcell said. “Every once in a while, you’ll come across a situation that humbles you and this is definitely one for me. I give credit to the voters with their support, to our staff, and of course, the families and the advocates that we have here in Scioto County.”
Purcell continued to show gratitude as he mentioned the wonderful people who came out to vote in a complicated and different voting process.
Humbled, he said, “It was definitely a moment I’ll remember, the phone call I’ll remember, so now what we get to do with this is, we will not only sustain services but to meet the ever-changing world that we live in, this is what is going to help us do that. I’m beyond words for the gratefulness I feel for the Scioto County individuals that serve our families and, of course, the voters.”
Purcell said with his staff he didn’t have to give one piece of direction, they knew what needed to get done.
“I think about the staff who did it, like Joy Copen, Chad Phipps and Steve Sowkulech, along with others as far as the work they put in,” Purcell said.
Purcell has been the Superintendent for two years now and concluded with, “I think we have a wonderful service system and this will only enhance it in the future.”
Scioto County Developmental Disabilities had a renewal of their current five-year 1.95 mill levy at the same valuation levy that was initially passed in 2015, so it was not to be a tax increase. The votes were: For the Tax Levy 8,387 and Against the Tax Levy 2,093, which passed the levy.
Scioto County DD, an agency primarily funded by levy dollars, currently serves approximately 650 individuals and their families from birth throughout their entire lives. Today more than 800 individuals in our county are eligible to receive services from the Scioto County DD. The need continues to grow in the county and the levy will be used to support the community without adding an additional dollar amount to property taxes.
This five-year 1.95 mill levy renewal will continue to cost taxpayers just $2.84 a month for each $50,000 of property value. The dollars gleaned from this levy assist the county board in providing services such as the Vern Riffe School, Adult Day Services, Residential Service, Case Management, Behavior Support Services, Employment Navigation, Early Childhood, Advocacy, and many other specialized services from birth to end of life.
The cost of services per person served by Scioto DD ranges from an average of $8,763 per year for children from birth to 5 years of age to an average of $24,474 per year for students from six years to age 21, and $9,295 per year per adult served by the Scioto County DD. These funds go toward providing employment support, connections to the community, assisting individuals with daily living needs and learning new skills.
A total of 422 agencies and independent providers are certified to support individuals of all ages locally. By supporting this levy, it will not only provide support for individuals with disabilities but add to the local economy by providing jobs for members of our community.
Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740)353-3101 ext. 1928
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