Mental Health Levy Renewed by Voters
By RYAN DUNN, staff writer, The Courier
Hancock County residents resoundingly approved a renewal levy Tuesday to continue funding the Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services board. By an unofficial tally of 9,801 to 5,210, voters overwhelmingly passed the five-year, 1.3-mill levy. The results are unofficial and include absentee ballots.
Executive Director Precia Stuby said she felt very grateful voters renewed the levy. The levy passed by a nearly 2-1 margin, 65.29 percent to 34.71 percent, showing “how much this community cares for all its residents,” Stuby said. Because this is a renewal levy, it also indicates residents want to continue the services the Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services board currently provides, Stuby said. The agency uses levy, federal and state funds to help subsidize primary treatment services for poor residents, Stuby said.
Nearly 3,400 people in Hancock County, about one third of whom are children, receive assistance from the agency, Stuby said. The owner of a home appraised at $100,000 pays about $40 per year to fund the levy.
About half of the agency’s future budget will be funded by the levy, Stuby said. Its budget was about $5.7 million in 2011, but state funds are drying up, she said, so levy dollars account for a growing percentage of the budget.
The levy brings in roughly $2.1 million annually, Stuby said.