$750,000 approved for a new youth substance abuse program in Fayette County

By Ashley Bunton - abunton@civitasmedia.com

Faith in Recovery Prevention Coalition members approved a $750,000 budget recently to operate a new program in Fayette County to address youth substance abuse.

The approved $750,000 budget will be submitted next as an application for a federal grant program. The federal grant funds, if received this year, will be used for the new youth substance abuse prevention program in the county called “Drug Free Communities.”

Still in its early planning stages, the Drug Free Communities program was started in 2016 by the Fayette County group, Faith in Recovery Prevention Coalition, as a way to develop prevention for youth substance abuse. Faith in Recovery Prevention Coalition was a recipient of a $1,000 grant for funding and developing the youth program, and action is being taken now to move forward in applying for federal grant funds to make the program larger and more encompassing of the community’s needs.

“I really am not sure that we will get it this funding-round. It is a large federal grant program and while our larger coalition (Faith in Recovery) has been around almost three years, it is up to the interpretation of the reviewer on whether or not our youth prevention activities were substantial enough to warrant six months of existence,” said Christina Blair, planner for Fayette County Community Action.

Members of Drug Free Communities and Faith in Recovery approved the budget Wednesday morning. The budget for 2017 was approved at $250,010. After that, the annual budget is projected to be $125,000 for direct costs in 2018-2021, for a total five-year budget of $750,000.

Half of the budget is expected to come from federal grants and monies while the remaining half will be matched by organizations in Fayette County. Funds from the Paint Valley ADAMH board will match the grant. Both Scioto Paint Valley and Fayette Recovery Center will provide youth prevention services and bill the Paint Valley ADAMH board. Miami Trace Local Schools and member contributions will also meet non-federal match requirements, according to the budget narratives.

The program’s 2017 budget of $250,010, a figure that averages just over $20,830 per month in direct costs, accounts for fringe, travel, personnel, supplies, contractual and other costs.

Specifically, the expected 2017 direct costs were broken down to: $59,325 personnel, $20,578 fringe, $15,607 travel, $6,800 supplies, $16,450 contractual, and $6,240 other.

A program director for Drug Free Communities has not yet been named, according to the program documents released earlier this week. The program director will work 18 hours per week and their payment will be calculated using an allocated budget for the position of $50,000 annually.

Two people have been selected to fill the program coordinator positions with Drug Free Communities.

Amy Seidle was approved to work for 16 hours per week as Drug Free Communities Program coordinator, calculated using a $50,000 annual salary, for a total payment of $20,000 per year for 16 hours per week. Seidle works as a prevention coordinator at Pickaway Area Recovery Services in Circleville.

James Bunch will also work 16 hours per week as a second program coordinator, and will receive $14,000 per year based on a $40,000 annual salary. Bunch is a counselor at Scioto Paint Valley Mental Health in Washington C.H.

The fiscal officer, Angela Siler, will work two hours per week. The position was approved with a salary of $56,500 annually. Adjusted, that gives Siler $2,825 per year for working two hours per week. Siler works as the fiscal officer at Community Action Commission in Fayette County.

In addition to the salaries, $20,578 was approved in fringe benefits to include insurance, unemployment tax, workman’s comp, Medicare and FICA taxes.

The $15,607 for travel is expected to cover travel airfare and hotel expenditures for personnel training: New Grant Award Training in Washington D.C., Coalition Academy Weeks in Baltimore, Md. and Pax Partner Training in Tuscan, Ariz. From that travel budget, $1,277 will be spent on state-wide mileage for local travel.

There were no indirect costs figured into the budget as of its release Wednesday.

As well as approving the annual budgets Wednesday, an outline of the Drug Free Communities’ action plan was approved for the year by members of the Faith in Recovery Prevention Coalition.

Increasing community collaboration and reducing youth substance abuse are the goals outlined in the action plan.

Look for more news about the Drug Free Communities program and details about the action plan, including local youth substance abuse statistics, next week by checking www.recordherald.com or reading the print edition.

By Ashley Bunton


Reach Ashley at (740) 313-0355 or on Twitter @ashbunton

Reach Ashley at (740) 313-0355 or on Twitter @ashbunton