Commissioners approve DD levy

By Michael Williamson -

The Madison County Commissioners approved a request by the county Board of Developmental Disabilities to place their 1.00 millage levy on the May general election ballot for renewal. Board superintendent Susan Thompson said the levy generates $850,000 for the board.

The levy was first put on the ballot in 1988 and has successfully been renewed every five years since. Revenue generated from the levy goes into the board’s general fund which can then be used for any operations costs.

An outline detailing the board’s operations were provided to the commissioners, something which Thompson said isn’t what they normally do.

“Under the auspices of transparency, we want everyone to see what’s going on,” she said. The information will also be posted to the board’s Facebook page.

Thompson also made the commissioners aware of the status of the house that caught fire in December, leaving the residents out of a home. The property, located at 300 McLene Ave., is owned by Madison Community Housing, an affiliate of the DD board.

“It was a total loss,” Thompson said, but the former residents are safe. “The good news is, the three ladies have relocated to a home on Jacqueline.” Since the house was severely damaged, the housing commission is looking at three possible rebuilding options: building onto the remaining structure, a complete rebuild or bringing in a module home.

“We actually got $127,000 back from the insurance carrier,” Thompson said. She explained that the 41 year old home would need everything four feet above the floor replaced. To completely rebuild the home would be $143,800 and is the option they are considering.

Combining the insurance money with a recapture of six months of rent (also from the insurance carrier), Thompson said much of the costs could be handled by the board. They are also looking into the possibility of getting money through Ohio’s Community Housing Impact and Preservation Program (CHIP).

“I think we’re going to have the funds to cover it,” she said. The combined total of insurance and CHIP funding could bring the cost of the rebuild well below $10,000. “My goal would be to save the favor from the commissioners for another day.”

By Michael Williamson

Reach MIchael Williamson at 740-852-1616, ext. 1619.

Reach MIchael Williamson at 740-852-1616, ext. 1619.