Commissioners consider inmate treatment program

Help for heroin users would cost $170,000

state contribution sought

March 27, 2001|By Brenda J. Buote | Brenda J. Buote,SUN STAFF

As the Carroll commissioners review a long wish list for the next fiscal year, they will have to decide whether the county will help pay for a heroin treatment program for inmates at Carroll County Detention Center.

The program, which would provide an eight-bed unit for heroin users ages 18 to 25, would be run by the Carroll County Health Department and cost about $170,000 during the 2002 budget year, which begins July 1. Health officials hope the state will pay 50 percent of the program costs.

"This is a very complex problem," Howard M. Held, director of addiction services for the county Health Department, told the commissioners during a budget workshop yesterday. "I really appreciate all the effort that's going into this."

The county budget office has recommended a 5 percent increase in funding for the Health Department, from $2.36 million this budget year to $2.48 million next budget year. That figure does not include funding for the proposed heroin treatment program.

"It's something the commissioners will have to consider as they draft their budget," said Steven D. Powell, county budget director.

In addition to the Health Department's request, the commissioners will have to decide whether to approve a funding increase for ARC, Target and Change Inc., three agencies that offer job placement services, transportation and, in some cases, housing for adults with developmental disabilities.

The agencies have asked for $643,500, to be divided equally among them. The county budget office approved the request, noting that state funding "does not adequately provide the resources for service needed by the [county's] developmentally disabled population."

In January, the commissioners approved a one-time, $541,000 grant to the three agencies to help them cope with shortfalls in their budgets. The money was from the county's reserve account.

The county Ethics Commission, the Carroll County Historic Preservation Commission and the Maryland Historical Trust also asked the commissioners for funding yesterday.

The Ethics Commission has asked for $500 to buy office supplies and $4,500 to hire outside legal counsel when necessary. The Historic Preservation Commission has asked for $2,150 for commission members to attend seminars, create a reference manual of Uniontown's historic properties and spread information about preservation programs. This is the first year either commission has requested funds from the county.

Maryland Historic Trust asked for $1,000 for educational programs and its expanded Web site.

The commissioners are reviewing budget requests before allocating funds from what is expected to be a $225 million budget. The three-member board is expected to draft a preliminary budget by April 5 and have it available to the public by April 19. The commissioners will hold a public hearing on the budget before its adoption in May.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.