MIAMI COUNTY — The tax levy for the Miami County Board of Developmental Disabilities is up for renewal and will be on the ballot during the Nov. 3 election.
The five-year, 2.5-mill levy generates $5,325,662.40 per year, which is 39.08 percent of the board’s (also known as Riverside Developmental Disabilities) operating budget.
Providing services for more than 900 residents in the county, these funds provide services in case management, recreational activities, early intervention services, physical and occupational therapies, community housing coordination, adult day services, transportation, and community employment training and placement.
“We are hopeful that the taxpayers will vote for (levy renewal) … it’s really our core operation,” Superintendent Brian Green said.
The levy was first introduced in 1992 at a rate of 4 mills, and was then renewed in 1997 at a lower rate of 2.8 mills. In 2002, the levy was renewed for 2.5 mills and has been the same rate since.
According to a recent report by the Ohio Board of Developmental Disabilities, Riverside ranks third in the state for county boards in developmental disabilities for obtaining state and federal waivers for eligible persons served, thus better utilizing taxpayers’ dollars. Residents are only paying 40 cents toward every dollar spent for the waived services.
As for the programs or individuals not covered through programs such as Medicaid, the remaining funds are paid for in full by Riverside.
“In a situation when someone doesn’t (have Medicaid), we provide their cost at 100 percent,” Green said. “We have been actively working with people since 2002 (for assistance).”
Green said Medicaid is not utilized in early intervention programs.
When asked how families with a loved one in the Riverside programs react to the availability of these programs, Green spoke as the superintendent and as a father — his 21-year-old son, who is autistic, is involved with the programs at Riverside.
“(Riverside staff) are very active working with our child,” he said, and stated that it has positively impacted his son’s growth. “We do meet families that have that same satisfaction.”
Reach reporter Amy Barger at (937) 451-3340 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall.