Ohio lawmakers going after cities that use red-light, traffic cameras

Human Services levy’s big win shows ‘a willingness to help others’

The Montgomery County Human Services Levy easily passed Tuesday, supported by about three of every four county voters.

The eight-year renewal levy will help fund safety-net programs for children in crisis, the developmentally disabled, the frail elderly and indigent — as well as those struggling with opioid addiction.

MORE: Montgomery County OD crisis: ‘We are nowhere near achieving our goal’

“We couldn’t be more pleased that the voting citizens here in Montgomery County understand that our most vulnerable citizens really need our assistance,” said Montgomery County Commissioner Judy Dodge.

Unofficial final results show 73,042 people cast votes for the levy, Issue 3 on the ballot, while 24,544 voted against.

Since the mid-1990s after the county combined six levies into just two, a Human Services Levy has never failed to pass, a testament to the community’s support, said Charles Meadows, the levy campaign chair.

“Everybody probably can’t deal with all the problems on their own,” he said. “But as a community-wide effort, collectively we have a willingness to help others.”

MORE: High staff turnover, burnout puts child welfare system in crisis

The portion renewed will generate $52 million annually and buttress an overall budget that directly assists about 50,000 people a year. But every county resident benefits from levy-funded health and safety programs, said Tom Kelley, assistant county administrator-Human Services and director, Job & Family Services.

“Literally everyone is served through the public health district,” Kelley said. “So we know every citizen is touched.”

Services such as immunizations, restaurant inspections, and air and water quality monitoring are critical to every citizen’s well-being and health, he said.

RELATED: Local agencies get funds for mental health, substance abuse services

Montgomery County commissioners called for no additional funding this year, keeping the levy at 6.03 mills. Known as Levy B, the owner of a home valued at $100,000 will continue to pay about $185 per year in property tax, according to the county auditor’s office. Voters in November 2014 approved a measure for Levy A that added 1 mill. At 8.21 mills, Levy A generated about $74.2 million in 2017.

Five main Montgomery County agencies receive the majority of the levy funding: the Board of Developmental Disabilities Services, Children Services, Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services (ADAMHS) board, Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County and the Area Agency on Aging.

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