“The power under the constitution will always be in the people. It is entrusted for certain defined purposes, and for a certain limited period, to representatives of their own choosing; and whenever it is executed contrary to their interest, or not agreeable to their wishes, their servants can and undoubtedly will, be recalled.”

~ George Washington (1787)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Budget woes in Walla Walla

WALLA WALLA — Sales tax money raised to expand Walla Walla County’s mental health and substance abuse services will be used to halt “hemorrhaging” of reserve funds in the county Human Services Department, county commissioners decided this week.

At their Monday meeting, commissioners approved the use of up to $335,000 collected last year to offset the costs of providing mental health services to Medicaid clients in 2013. Under the plan, the use of the sales tax funds to support current operations will end on Dec. 31 of this year.

Other measures in the proposal call for developing program plans to minimize use of reserve funds and extending the loan payback period Community Service Center building at 1520 Kelly Place from 10 to 15 years.

The proposal was one of six alternatives put forward by Harvey Crowder, interim director of the county’s Human Services Department, to stop a drain on the department’s reserve funds that began several years ago. If left unchecked, Crowder told commissioners, the reserve funds could potentially be exhausted in 18 months.
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