Carleton School, Meigs Industries levy on Nov. ballot

By Sarah Hawley -

MEIGS COUNTY — Voters in Meigs County will be deciding on a 2-mill renewal levy from Carleton School and Meigs Industries when they go to the polls on Nov. 8.

As a renewal levy, there would be no increase in tax to property owners in the county should the levy be approved once again.

Carleton School and Meigs Industries, as the Meigs County Board of Developmental Disabilities, provides services for individuals from birth through adulthood, including preschool and school-age classes. These services have been provided for more than 45 years.

Superintendent Kay Davis said the funding from the levy up for renewal generates approximately $500,000 annually for Carleton School and Meigs Industries, accounting for around 25 percent of the current operating budget.

Around 50 percent of the revenue for Carleton School and Meigs Industries comes from local property taxes, with nearly 35 percent from the state and 15 percent from federal programs.

“The passage of the renewal levy will ensure the continued provision of funding for high quality services for children and adults with developmental disabilities and their families in Meigs County,” Davis said.

Due in part to the levy funds, Carleton School and Meigs Industries has been able to hire a director of education and Medicaid associate; upgrade the building heating system; purchase two new buses; install a new phone system; install a concrete pad for van loading; provide transportation for medical trips; upgrade the playground; and mill and resurface the parking lot.

Carleton School and Meigs Industries works with other state and local agencies and organizations to maximize the local tax dollars, Davis said.

She said agencies working together to benefit programs and projects is one of the strengths of Meigs County.

Some of those programs have included working with the Ohio Department of Education to install a security system, securing grant funds to offset the cost of services for preschool peers and securing free breakfast and lunch for all students. The agency worked with the Galliapolis Elks Lodge on the playground expansion and the Ohio Department of Transportation to purchase four vans.

Davis said some of the budget considerations at this time are the increase in health insurance costs, loss of Medicaid revenue, decrease in early childhood funding and the increase in waivers, waiver services and costs.

Looking toward the future, should the levy be approved by voters, Davis said future plans would be to purchase a bus, increase waiver enrollment, transition the adult services program, complete and energy audit of the building with a possible upgrade, and expand vocational and community opportunities for students and adults.

Currently, there are programs at Carleton School and Meigs Industries beginning at age 3 and going through adulthood.

The early intervention program works with children from birth to age 2, providing in home services and support to help overcome delays and minimize disabilities.

Those age 3-5 participate in the preschool program. Both children with and without disabilities learn together in the two preschool classrooms.

The preschool program was recognized earlier this year as a five-star program under Ohio’s Step Up to Quality system.

The school age program serves those from age 6-22, helping them to learn to be independent, as well as teaching academic and life lessons and skills.

Meigs Industries provides services to adults, including vocational, recreational and community integration services. Adults in the program are given the opportunity to learn skills such as art, which was recently on display at Art in the Village in Middleport. Participants from Meigs Industries received recognition in multiple categories at the event.

Some of the adults work through janitorial and mowing contracts, while others have employment in the community.

In addition, the Meigs County Board of Developmental Disabilities provides support services to individuals and families with disabilities. These services include physical therapy, health services coordination, transportation, service and support administration, and Special Olympics.

Waiver services are provided for adult day services, residential services and home-based waiver services which help to support those living in the community.

Physical and occupational therapy is available on site, as well as sensory room to allow students to learn in an environment which meets their specific needs.

By Sarah Hawley

Reach Sarah Hawley at 740-992-2155 or on Twitter @SarahHawleyNews

Reach Sarah Hawley at 740-992-2155 or on Twitter @SarahHawleyNews