Commissioners approve HCJFS contracts


The Highland County Board of Commissioners approved multiple contracts from Highland County Jobs and Family Services (HCJFS) at its weekly Wednesday morning meeting.

Jeremy Ratcliff, HCJFS director, said that the first of those contracts is related to its Prevention, Retention and Contingency (PRC) Plan for the next year. He said it is due to be submitted to the Ohio Department of Jobs of Family Services (ODJFS) and has already been submitted to the Family and Children’s First (FCFC) Council for comment.

Ratcliff said the only update in the plan from the one the board of commissioners had previously approved were the removal of dollars related to COVID spending and the back-to-school program. He said the organization had a special fund last year that was able to supply some of those, but the fund isn’t there this year.

He said the majority of the organization’s PRC Plan money goes to support its child welfare programs or services as well as services to its kinship families. However, Ratcliff also said the money is just “temporary assistance” and is not an ongoing benefit. He said that the amount of money from the plan varies from year-to-year and is from federal Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) dollars.

Ratcliff said the other contract was an amendment to its net transportation contract. He said this contract pays for Medicaid billable services, that it was to run through the federal fiscal year, and it was capped at $1.3 million. He also said there’s an anticipation of an increase of several thousand miles driven, necessitating an increase of $1.3 million to $1.575 million.

He said the provider told the organization that its biggest change was a local provider closed a clinic in Hillsboro, meaning there were a lot more trips to Wilmington. He said this pushed the mileage up more than the provider anticipated. He also said the rides are $2.84 per loaded mile, but that Damon Lucas, director of transportation at FRS, told him that he anticipates that number would also be going up.

Ratcliff said this program works by the client contacting the organization to schedule transportation, then FRS would contact HCJFS to make sure the client is Medicaid-eligible. He said FRS would then do the transportation scheduling and bill HCJFS on a weekly or monthly basis and would be reimbursed from its federal Medicaid money.

Concerning the organization’s levy discussed at previous board meetings, Ratliff said it was filed with the Highland County Board of Elections.

“I guess we just wanna keep spreading the word that the funds are desperately needed,” Ratcliff said. “Our costs are $4 million a year and we are really asking for an increase of about a dollar a month, which is pennies a day, if that, if you think about it. And so, had a really positive feedback from several members in the county, understanding the need and willing to help raise awareness of this levy campaign. So the work continues on that front.”

In other news, the board of commissioners approved a letter designating Highland County Community Action Organization (HCCAO) as the organization that would apply and administer a new Lead-Safe Grant Program from the Ohio Department of Development.

Mark Current, HCCAO housing director, said that Highland County was allocated $200,000 for lead-safe work. He said this grant allows for some window and door replacements with contractors with a certification called RRP, or Repair, Renovate and Paint, instead of strictly only allowing lead abatement contractors. He also said for this grant that a child doesn’t have to be in the house for it to be eligible.

Current said the grant application will be in late September and the program would start in late December or January next year, then running through March 2026.

The board of commissioners approved one authorization to execute, that being an Economic Development Department General Partnership Agreement with the Highland County Chamber of Commerce.

In other news, there were six resolutions approved by the board:

* Res. No. 23-119 is authorization for an additional appropriation from unappropriated funds in the amount of $10,000 to the Dogs and Kennel budget.

* Res. No. 23-120 is authorization for an additional appropriation from unappropriated funds in the amount of $1,800 to the Common Pleas Court budget.

* Res. No. 23-121 is an authorization for a budget modification within the Common Pleas Court budget in the amount of $1,000.

* Res. No. 23-122 is an authorization for a budget modification within the Soil and Water Conservation budget for $1,500.

* Res. No. 23-123 is an authorization for a budget modification within the Auditor budget for$2,000.

* Res. No. 23-124 is an authorization for a budget modification within the Youth Services budget for $17,200.

There were also two contracts approved by the board:

* Contract 71 is between the board, Highland County Jobs and Family Services and FRS Transportation for Amendment No. 1 to the Purchased Services Contract with FRS Transportation.

* Contract 72 is between the board and Highland County Jobs and Family Services for the Prevention, Retention and Contingency (PRC) Plan effective on Oct. 1, 2023.

Reach Jacob Clary at 937-402-2570.

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