2009-08-13 / Local & State

County Gets Overview On D&A Program

By Chanin Rotz-Mountz STAFF WRITER

The director for Fulton/ Franklin counties drug and alcohol program pitched some new ideas to the Fulton County commissioners Tuesday with hopes of someday establishing a community integration or after-care center within the county to lend assistance to recovering addicts.

Director Jodi Wadel informed commissioners Bonnie Mellott Keefer and David Hoover II she wants to educate the general public on her organization's three-faceted purpose that includes offering effective treatment services, providing recovery or active care support services and offering communitywide prevention.

As is stated in Wadel's fiveyear plan, the area of providing after care support has been an area not effectively addressed in Fulton County in recent years. With hopes of bolstering post-recovery services ranging from support groups and information distribution to coaching and mentoring services, Wadel stated community integration centers are widely utilized in the western portion of the United States. In Pennsylvania, areas such as Philadelphia and Reading are already offering these services.

Quoting a variety of statistics from existing programs, Wadel noted 96 percent who are involved in the centers are still drug and alcohol free while others have gone on to secure jobs, housing or further their education.

Wadel further indicated grant money would need to be secured to make these dreams a reality. The funding could in turn be used to operate one centralized location for services of several locations within various pockets of the county. She said the program is a day program similar to that of a senior center in it that offers a daily meeting location, activities and fellowship. In many instances, those helping offer services are in longterm sobriety.

Wadel concluded support from the community is needed to help break stigmas associated with drug and alcohol abuse. In looking at Fulton County's close-knit community, she added she has always loved the willingness of local residents to help with collaboration efforts.

In other county business, the commissioners met with chief assessor Michelle Sowers pertaining to a tax assessment appeal filed by Gennaro Carracino. His property along Waterfall Road in Taylor Township was questioned on land value as well as the value on two out buildings that reportedly have structural problems and were built from used materials.

Commissioner Hoover made a motion, which was accepted unanimously, to approve an ordinance to borrow up to $3.7 million for the county's building renovation project and an additional $475,000 to refinance the Services for Children building mortgage. The mortgage dates back to 2003, bringing the total financing package to $4,112,000.

As part of the ordinance, the board met with attorney David Twadell of Rhoads & Sinon, who presented the commissioners with requirements through the Local Government Unit Debt Act. The information was needed to support the filing for a loan for the renovation project.

County projects coordinator Karen Hann informed the commissioners she has received notification from the state that the county will be receiving a total of $229,746 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding. Hann added the amount received also coincides with the amount requested on funding applications for 2009.

Commissioner Hoover was appointed to serve as the commissioners' representative on the Fulton County Partnership.

The commissioners noted Services for Children Director Kelly Ford resigned from her position effective August 7. In the interim period until a replacement can be named, Human Services Administrator Jean Snyder will assume the role of acting director.

An application for 2009 Liquid Fuel Funding in the amount of $2,300 was accepted as submitted by the Todd Township Board of Supervisors.

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