News-Herald Staff Writer

CADIZ – The Harrison County Board of Commissioners took quick action on Aug. 18 and supported a funding quest by the county Board of Developmental Disabilities.

Commissioner Barbara Pincola announced that the panel was backing efforts to secure an Appalachian Regional Commission grant to fund technological upgrades needed to proceed with the Shared Functions Demonstration project. “In the last week we met with [board Chairman] Monty Kerr,” said Pincola. “He approached us and asked us to support their application.”

“The project is valuable in that it will determine the potential benefits of regional planning in order to assure the long-term financial sustainability of disability services in this region of Appalachia,” stated the commissioners’ letter of support to the ARC. “To that end, we fully support the Board of Developmental Disabilities and its efforts to reduce costs through the sharing of functions.”

Board members were not present for the six-minute session, but information provided shows that Shared Functions improve efficiency and stabilize the county boards. Among challenges the boards face today are rising costs, decreasing revenue and increasing needs of individuals with disabilities. In turn, there is a need to save money, preserve local control and accountability over taxpayer dollars and to ensure that people with disabilities receive quality services.

“The sharing of administrative functions between two or more boards has been successful in achieving efficiency and effectiveness by stabilizing costs,” the data notes.

By sharing functions, it sustains core services; pools financial resources to access services and professionals that would not typically be available to small county boards; utilizes talented, experienced and qualified personnel at a competitive wage; preserves each county board’s integrity; and increases efficiency, accessibility, and service monitoring through use of technology.

It further adds that the project will investigate the utilization and effectiveness of shared services; identify areas of operation and administrative duties where sharing functions is feasible and cost effective, such as with finance, service and support administration, human resources and public relations; and involve the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities, Ohio Association of County Boards of Developmental Disabilities, boards in Belmont, Noble and Harrison counties and other community resources.

“It is expected that the project will prove that collaboration significantly reduces costs, fosters uniformity of service delivery, creates best practice processes and promotes a process that enhances outcomes for people with developmental disabilities.”

In other business, county Engineer Rob Sterling said Lash Paving completed resurfacing on County Roads 61 and 46, respectively known as Friendly Ridge and Carman roads, with striping anticipated to occur this week. Commissioners also approved a $40,000 appropriation increase in the county Department of Job and Family Services’ Transfer Public Assistance line item.