Sign In | Create an Account | Welcome, . My Account | Logout | Subscribe | Submit News | Customer Service | Tearsheets | Media Kit | Home RSS

Franklin County services take a hit

June 17, 2010
By JESSICA COLLIER, Enterprise Staff Writer

A Franklin County summer youth program will likely be significantly smaller this year, due in part to the state slashing a chunk of its funding.

That's one of the social services offered by the county that will be reduced with a state budget extender bill passed earlier this week.

Last year, the county helped employ 170 youths across the county in jobs with public, nonprofit and private organizations. The program gives paid work experience to people younger than 21 who come from close-to-poverty-level families.

This year, that number will drop to 35, said Mary Beth McKee, who heads the county Employment and Training Administration.

That decrease reflects a 60-percent cut to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program funded through the state - a drop from about $130,000 to about $53,000 - as well as a lack of stimulus funding that last year paid for a good number of the jobs.

"I'm hoping that we get some federal money, but it's getting kind of late," McKee said. "I'm hoping if we find out, we find out soon."

The county Department of Social Services is also set to see some cuts.

County Manager Jim Feeley said funding for non-residential domestic violence programs was cut by about half in the extender bill.

But social services Commissioner Lesley Lyon said that since the county is only one of the funding sources for the program, which the county contracts out to ComLinks Community Action Agency, it shouldn't be a huge hit to the service.

"It could mean some scaling back, but it would not really affect the whole operation of the program," Lyon said.

Preventative services will likely take a 1.7 percent hit, which Lyon said she also wasn't very worried about.

"I don't think we'll even hardly feel that cut," Lyon said.

One service that will see funding reduced is a mentor program for children who might be in danger of going into foster care.

Lyon said that with these small cuts, there won't be much of a significant impact, but it's something the department will have to pay attention to. If the state took away another 5 or 10 percent of preventative funding, the county could see more kids in foster care or getting arrested, which means spending would increase in other areas of the county budget.

Not all social services programs will see cuts under the extender.

"Child welfare services are maintaining their threshold, so that's good news," Feeley said.


Contact Jessica Collier at 891-2600 ext. 25 or



I am looking for:
News, Blogs & Events Web