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Politics and Government

McLean County Board Disputes Funding For Behavioral Health Grant Writer

McLean County Board member Susan Schafer.

McLean County Board members disagreed Tuesday on how to fund a job supporting behavioral health services.

One proposal is for the county to use sales tax dollars to hire a grant writer to seek additional funding services. But board member Chuck Erickson, a Republican from Bloomington, said paying a grant writer's salary will reduce funds currently available for mental health services.

"If you take the money to pay the grant writer out of the CDAP (Community Development Assistance Program) fund, and you don't use it from the mental health fund, that's actually more money that goes into mental health," said Erickson.  

But Erickson acknowledges the Community Development Assistance Program fund has its own limits.

Board member Susan Schafer was against delaying the hire. She said the position will do more than grant writing.

"That person is going to have to coordinate a lot of other things," said Schafer. "And I really believe that it's overdue. I think we should keep moving forward with this because this problem isn't going to go away. It's only going to continue to get worse."

The board voted 11-4 to approve the grant writer position, but postponed a decision 9-6 on how to fund it until next month. 

Five board members were absent from Tuesday morning's monthly meeting.

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