WESTMINSTER — Officials at the Sexual Assault Treatment Center at Family and Children's Services say they have dramatically reduced the number of people on a waiting list for counseling.
At the end of July, 63 children and adults were awaiting treatment. Some were adult survivors of sexual assault and others were children who were sexually assaulted in the past, said Beth Albright, management associate at the agency.
As of last week, 16 people were waiting for counseling, said Albright Thursday afternoon at the monthly meeting of the county's Child Sexual Assault Committee.
Albright said the treatment center staffworked over the summer to reduce the list and to try to keep it fromgrowing again.
She said many of the people on the list no longer wanted counseling when they were contacted by the center staff.
"Some had been on so long, they went into treatment elsewhere," Albright said.
She said some people who were on the list for a long time could not be reached.
Albright said the agency's top priority is children who experiencing ongoing sexual abuse and their families.
Court-ordered cases and cases involving juvenile offenders also receive attention quickly, she said.
The people who end up on the waiting list are usually those who have received counseling for a past episode of abuse and are coming back for more counseling and adults who were abused as children, Albright said.
She said adult survivors of abuse make up the largest part of the waiting list.
"Unfortunately, we lost a lot of people because of the long wait," Albright said."We want to keep that from happening again."
STREAM TO BE MOVED
Work is expected to begin soon to relocate a stream near the closed Hodges Landfill to reduce the potential for pollutants leaching into the stream and being carried to larger bodies of water.
As required by state mandate, the abandoned landfill off Hodges Road in south Carroll has been capped to reduce the likelihood of contamination. Contaminants from the landfill have been detected in a stream that meanders through the site, said James E. Slater Jr., administrator of the Office of Environmental Services.
In capping the landfill, slopes were created close to the stream, he said.
Money already has been allocated for the project as part of the approximately $2 million budget for the Hodges Landfill remediation work, Slater said. A consultantwill oversee the project, but Slater said the physical work could bedone by county employees.
He estimated the project could be completed by spring, with the county commissioners' approval. Drexel University of Philadelphia has expressed interest in sending three senior engineering students here to help with the project, said Slater.
Carroll's environmental services administrator, James E. Slater Jr., and landscape plan reviewer Neil Ridgely plan tocomb through the county Landscape Ordinance to evaluate where changes could be made to improve the regulation.
Several developers and Commissioner President Donald I. Dell have expressed concern that some of the requirements and the enforcement of the ordinance are too stringent or excessive.
Ridgely has said that he is simply doing hisjob -- making sure that developers adhere to the regulations.
The2-year-old ordinance is intended to improve the aesthetic quality ofresidential and commercial developments.
"We'll see where we can make some changes to make it work better," said Slater.
Dell said he has highlighted some parts of the ordinance that "are of concern to me." He said he wants to review the entire document with the administrators.
NO PRICE CHANGE
The Carroll school board, following the recommendation of Superintendent R. Edward Shilling and the Maryland State Department of Education, will not cover the price increase in the reduced lunch program.
The board, concerned that some families may not be able to afford a state-initiated price increase, asked theschool staff to research whether Carroll could pick up the additional cost.
The Maryland State Department of Education, responding to a letter from the Carroll staff, recommended the district keep pricesat the increased rate so lunch costs across the state would remain stable. The state increased prices by 30 cents for breakfast and 40 cents for lunch to compensate for a 25 percent cut in state aid. Last year, these children, who come from low-income families, paid 10 centsfor breakfast and 20 cents for lunch.
Eulalia M. Muschik, supervisor of food services, told the board that she had concerns about the price increases, but after checking at several schools found that neither students nor parents had complained.
"Basically, I have to say I was concerned about children going hungry," she said. "I wouldn'twant to see that happen. But I have not heard of any problems with the prices."
James E. Reter, director of business and finance, estimated it would cost the district about $7,000 to make up the difference in cost.