ADAMH renewal levy to be on Nov. 2 ballot

By Ryan Carter - [email protected]

A Paint Valley Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health (ADAMH) levy that the community has supported for the last 40 years will be up for renewal on the Nov. 2 election ballot in Fayette County and other local counties.

The renewal levy (at a rate not exceeding 1 mill for each dollar of valuation, which amounts to 10 cents for each $100 of valuation for 10 years) raises $4.7 million annually and it won’t raise taxes, according to ADAMH officials.

Paint Valley ADAMH Board was created in 1967 to ensure the availability of community-based alcohol, drug addiction and mental health services. The board does not directly provide services, but contracts with a network of public and private health care agencies to treat persons in need. It serves the residents of Fayette, Highland, Pickaway, Pike and Ross counties.

Some of the entities it contracts with are: Fayette Recovery Center, Scioto Paint Valley Mental Health Center, Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Central Ohio, Family Recovery Services, and NAMI Southern Ohio.

The renewal levy is necessary to continue helping children and families in crisis, according to officials. It maintains mental health services for children and families who cannot afford to pay for them, have nowhere else to turn, and could go untreated.

“The levy provides funding for individuals and families with little or no insurance,” said ADAMH Executive Director Penny Dehner. “The Paint Valley ADAMH Board offers a sliding fee scale at the contract provider agencies that allow for services with as little as one dollar co-pays.”

According to ADAMH, more than 12,000 residents have received services from the network and the renewal keeps those services available for families. Just last year, over 10,000 youths were served by prevention programs across the network.

Levy funds continue suicide prevention programs, including for youth and elderly. It also preserves treatment and housing for those with severe mental illness.

According to Dehner, the local levy provides 56% of the annual operating budget that makes services possible. Without the levy, officials say the current crisis programming would be severely impacted.

For each $100,000 of property valuation, it costs $2.63 a month for voters. It is the only levy for the Paint Valley ADAMH and is renewed every 10 years. State and federal funding for mental health addiction treatment services has stayed relatively flat, according to officials.

“The Paint Valley ADAMH Board is thankful that this levy has been supported by our communities for the last 40 years and the ballot initiative is for a renewal of this levy,” said Dehner. “No new taxes are being assessed.”

Fayette County Sheriff Vernon Stanforth and Fayette County Commissioners Tony Anderson, Dan Dean and Jim Garland, as well as the county commissioners and sheriffs of Highland, Pickaway, Pike and Ross counties, have all endorsed renewing the ADAMH levy.

“The Paint Valley Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board is thrilled that Sheriff Stanforth and the county commissioners have endorsed the renewal levy,” said Dehner. “Having the support of the Fayette County Sheriff is huge for us. Residents of the county look to law enforcement for the safety and security of their community and Sheriff Stanforth’s speaks volumes. We are so appreciative of commissioners Anderson, Dean, and Garland for their support as well.”

Dehner added that the need for behavioral health services has increased because of isolation and trauma created by the pandemic for both children and adults, and ADAMH is working to try to meet that need.

“The Paint Valley ADAMH Board has been awarded many grants which are helpful, however, grants are temporary, so the need for sustainable long-term funding through the levy is so important.”

Early voting at the Fayette County Board of Elections office, 135 S. Main St. in Washington Court House, runs through 2 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 1. Polls are open Tuesday, Nov. 2 from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Make sure to check your polling location with the local board of elections.

Reach Record-Herald Editor Ryan Carter at 740-313-0352.

By Ryan Carter

[email protected]