We received the great news this month at the County Commissioners open meeting that the resolution to be on the ballot in November was passed by all three commissioners. We are grateful to have jumped that final hurdle. Now, the real work begins.
As we start to actively ask the community for support, it is important for you as staff members to understand how to answer questions. We are often challenged with questions regarding budget items so I want to be sure that you are comfortable and prepared to field questions that you may receive. Please know that I am always willing to meet in person with anyone interested in learning more about the ins and outs of our finances.
The financials of the County Board of DD are generated from three separate funding sources (federal, state, and county – all three of which operate on different fiscal year). Federal monies are deposited into our operating budget as a result of billing for services provided. We pull in approximately $870,000.00 in federal revenue annually through a combination of billing for targeted case management, Medicaid administrative claiming, community employment, and community integration. These funds are designed to offset salaries.
The operating fund also pulls in over $355,000.00 in state subsidy funding. Through local funding (tax dollars), the operating fund receives just over $2.9 million for the primary use of programming and operations (i.e. helping those we serve). We also collect just under $100,000.00 in miscellaneous revenue from lease agreements (renting space to Marca, Head Start, North Central Ohio Educational Service Center, Marion City Schools) and administration fees (Background checks, training, postage).
In addition to managing the operating fund, we manage several other restricted funds through the county auditor’s office, to include the residential, capital, and gift and donation funds. It is important for you and the community to understand that these funds do have regulations limiting their use to specific guidelines. The capital fund, as an example, can only be used to construct, renovate, repair buildings, and purchasing equipment.
Our organization also has a very positive community impact on Marion County by its very existence. There are over $9.7 million dollars allocated to waiver services alone here in Marion, Ohio to stimulate job opportunities through private providers. Also, having over $4.2 million dollars in our operating fund alone designated for developmental disabilities flowing through the county auditor’s book provides interest revenue to the commissioner’s general fund for county operations.
It is true that we are an administrative entity. Our existence is deemed necessary at a state and federal level with the goal of administration for providers, services, community resources, advocacy, and community inclusion. Our finances have been sound for many years despite challenges with community support. We are now in desperate need of support.
I’m thanking you in advance for being a strong community ambassador and educator over the next several months as we work to gain community support that will allow us to continue our great work for those we serve. As you come across financial questions, I hope this information is helpful, please know that you can always direct people to me so I can help clarify any concerns or questions.
Cheryl A. Plaster, Superintendent