MIAMI COUNTY — The Tri-County Board of Mental Health Services and Recovery is seeking to renew its 5-year 0.6-mill levy with voters in Miami, Shelby and Darke counties.
According to Executive Director Mark McDaniel, the levy was first passed in 1974, making it one of the oldest mental health recovery levies in the state of Ohio.
At a Meet the Candidates forum Thursday in Troy, McDaniel said the levy would not increase taxes.
According to levy information, the cost of the levy is $19 per year for a home valued at $134,000 in Miami County.
“The levy is almost 40 percent of our budget,” McDaniel said. “Funding from the levy helps us purchase a wide variety of services throughout the tri-county area ranging from hospitalization, housing, medications, counseling, case management and prevention programs, the Safe Haven program, crisis services, crisis hotline, respite and hospital beds, detox services and a wide variety of services including vocational and training services.”
McDaniel said the levy funds allow the board to offer a variety of services on a sliding fee scale for its partnering agencies.
“The issue here is the demand is great,” McDaniel said. “All you have to do is pick up a newspaper or watch the news to realize the demand is great.”
The local levy raises approximately $2 million a year for services ranging from prevention and wellness, response to the local heroin epidemic, education and other mental health services to all residents in the Miami, Shelby and Darke counties.
If the levy should fail, McDaniel said there would be a dramatic cut in services.
“Our system we have set up in the three-county area would be devastated because it is 40 percent of our budget,” McDaniel said. “So, programs like Safe Haven, our housing programs and all those programs would literally be defunded.”
McDaniel said if the levy should fail, the Tri-County Board of Recovery and Mental Health Services would not be able to get involved with projects like the Miami County Heroin Coalition and providing detox services at local jails.
“The levy monies are flexible enough that we can go in and help start things and help fill some gaps and help purchase some things that the state and federal dollars are too tied up in rules and regulations to do. It would be devastating,” McDaniel said.
For more information about the levy, visit www.YESforMentalHealth.com, email [email protected] or call Brad Reed, Director of Community Resource Development at (937) 335-7727 ext. 209.
Reach Melanie Yingst at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @Troydailynews.com