April 17, 2014

Medina
Mostly sunny
54°F

MCBDD levy passes easy

GRANGER TWP. — Officials with the Medina County Board of Developmental Disabilities were able to breathe a sigh of relief Tuesday night after voters approved a replacement levy.

Revenues from the 1.12-mill levy, set to expire at the end of this year, make up about 24 percent of the board’s budget. The levy will bring in about $5 million a year over 10 years.

From left, Robin Skrant, Ruth Evans and Mary Kay Noll lobby for votes in favor of a replacement levy for the MCBDD on Tuesday morning at the Medina County Fairgrounds. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY STEVE GRAZIER)

From left, Robin Skrant, Ruth Evans and Mary Kay Noll lobby for votes in favor of a replacement levy for the MCBDD on Tuesday morning at the Medina County Fairgrounds. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY STEVE GRAZIER)

“We are incredibly thankful to the taxpayers of the county for the caring and support they showed for the most vulnerable population in the county,” MCBDD Superintendent Greg LaForme said.

According to unofficial results from the Medina County Board of Elections, 36,955 voters approved the levy and 25,099 rejected it.

LaForme said he “never expected” such an outcome.

“We’re honored with the taxpayer support,” he said.

According to estimates from the Medina County Auditor’s Office, the levy will cost property owners $35.28 per $100,000 of appraised valuation. That is about $10 more a year than what residents pay now.

The MCBDD provides programs for developmentally disabled individuals, such as educational services and programs to help them find employment in the community. It operates the Achievement Center and Windfall School, both on Windfall Road.

Even with the new levy, the board still expects to be spending slightly more than it brings in over the coming years.

“This does not allow us to grow. We won’t be able to add new programs,” he said.

LaForme said the MCBDD will leverage Medicaid money and other forms of revenue as much as possible to close the gap between expenses and revenues.

Contact Maria Kacik Kula at (330) 721-4049 or mkacik@medina-gazette.com.