Grants to serve local handicapped residents were awarded by the Lawrence County Tax Board for the Developmentally Disabled at the group's first meeting of 2010 in Aurora.
People First of Barry-Lawrence County made a request for $1,000 to pay for social outings, transportation costs and operating expenses for activities from July 1 to June 30, 2011. Kelly Wartick, representing People First, described the organization as a self-advocacy program for individuals with special needs. The group raises money by selling pencils, hosting themed parties and selling cookbooks.
A $5,000 grant request was presented by Robin Boring from the Monett office of Arc of the Ozarks. Boring said the funds would cover the purchase of eight tables for the conference and training room at the Arc facility on Old Airport Road in Monett, which is used for the day program. It would also pay for a new washer and dryer at the facility and social activities for residents at the Pierce City group home.
Board members unanimously approved both requests.
Rebecca Rivette, the new targeted case manager for Lawrence County hired by Community Support Services, was introduced to the board. Rivette introduced her co-workers: Steve Mooneyham and Cindy Guyer, who work at the Aurora office; and Cathy Backs, lead case manager, and Chad Camp, both of whom work in the Cassville office.
Since Community Support Services won the contract to represent Barry and Lawrence counties, Rivette said offices have opened in both counties. Five of seven employees have been hired. Interviews are being held for the remaining posts. Several clients have been transitioned from the regional office. Rivette said operations are going well.
In board business, Ann Waggoner was introduced as the new office assistant for the tax board. Waggoner took the place of LeAnn Bussard.
Executive Director George Woodward briefed the board on the Missouri Department of Mental Health's Division of Developmental Disabilities' plans to not review cases submitted by the tax board for Medicaid waiver consideration. Board Chairman Becky Elliott sent a letter in response stating the Lawrence County board would terminate its matching grant arrangement with the Regional Office next year for Medicaid services under such conditions.
Woodward said Matt Ferguson, director of the Regional Office, responded that the state would continue to do reviews for the Lawrence County board in the future.
New arrangements placing greater oversight for services on a regional level continue to present difficulties. Woodward told board members about a former Lawrence County client who was placed in a position where neither the service vendor or case manager involved provided adequate service. Woodward became aware of the situation and contacted the Regional Office. At the present time services appear to be improving, Woodward added.
The treasurer's report showed a fund balance of $319,517.81 for the end of March.
The next tax board meeting was scheduled for 7 p.m. on June 29 at the tax board's Community Center, which is located at 404 E. Elm in Aurora.