News Article Details

Mental health task force to make recommendations to county

The Leavenworth Times - 7/22/2019

Jul. 21--Members of a task force plan to present a proposal for addressing mental health issues to the Leavenworth County Commission.

The date has not been set for the presentation. But the presentation from the Leavenworth County Mental Health Task Force may come in mid to late August.

Mike Griswold, vice chairman of the task force, is putting the finishing touches on a written proposal that will be provided to commissioners. Griswold also serves as the mayor pro-tem of the city of Leavenworth.

Task force members will be seeking funding for implementation of the proposal.

County commissioners currently are in the process of reviewing a proposed county budget for 2020.

But Keith Rickard, a member of the task force, said members of the group will not be seeking funding from the county until 2021.

"We're not making any recommendations for this year," he said.

One of the Leavenworth County commissioners, Vicky Kaaz, serves as chairwoman of the task force.

Rickard said approval of funding for the implementation of the task force's recommendations likely would require a public vote.

The county government operates under a state tax lid law. The law places restrictions on the collection of increased property tax revenue that exceeds the rate of inflation. Increasing property taxes under the tax lid to pay for the task force's recommendations likely would require public approval.

Rickard is the executive director The Guidance Center, a community mental health program that serves Leavenworth, Atchison and Jefferson counties.

In his time at The Guidance Center, Rickard said he has never seen the level of interest in mental health that exists now in the community.

Griswold said the task force, which has more than a dozen members, began meeting in February.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR


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