LISBON - Columbiana County commissioners renewed a series of contracts totaling $227,376 for programs designed to increase self-sufficiency among the working poor and others receiving some form of government assistance.
The contracts, which were approved at Wednesday's commissioners' meeting, are between the county Department of Job and Family Services and various service providers. The funding source is federal tax dollars received by the JFS.
Following is a list of the contracts and amounts:
* $31,000 for a program to provide the working poor with vouchers to purchase up to $100 in gasoline over the next year for use in getting to and from their job. The vouchers can be redeemed at Smith Oil gas stations.
* $48,000 for providing public transportation for the working poor needing a ride to and from their jobs. The contract is with the Community Action Rural Transit System.
* $90,000 with county juvenile court for a truancy officer position and support staff used to enforce school truancy among school districts and provide assistance programs for truant youths to keep them in school.
* $58,376 with the county Counseling Center to continue the Project SAFE program, a parenting assistance program.
The income eligibility for participation in these programs is generally 130 percent of the federal poverty level, which is about $30,000 for a household of four.
A contract for $29,170 between the JFS and Help Hotline Crisis Center of Youngstown was also approved by commissioners. Help Hotline provides after-hours phone service for callers seeking assistance from Children Services and Adult Protective Services, which are both agencies within the JFS.
In other action this week's meeting:
- Commissioners received a check for $4,749 from the Ohio Department of Natural Services as the county's share of proceeds from logging at Yellow Creek State Forest outside Salineville. Also receiving money are Wayne Township trustees ($4,749) and the Southern Local school district ($9,498) since the forest is within the township and school district.
- Commissioner Mike Halleck thanked the city of Salem administration for coming up with a plan so Salem's police officer assigned to the county drug task force could now work full time with the DTF. "It's no secret to anyone in this room that (drugs) are a problem in the city," he said.
- Halleck also thanked those officeholders who have been working with commissioners to stay within their budget by moving funding around as needed.