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Clay County Children’s Fund on ballot Aug. 8

July 25, 2017  – On Tuesday, August 8 there will be one item on the ballot for residents of Excelsior Springs.

The measure, known as Proposition 1, would create a ¼ cent sales tax, which would be used to begin the Clay County Children’s Services Fund.

The measure was placed on the ballot by an act of the Clay County Commission after the group fell short of the needed signatures in a referendum effort last year.

The ballot language for the measure reads, “Shall Clay County, solely for the purpose of establishing a community children’s services fund for the purpose of providing services to protect the well-being and safety of children and youth nineteen years of age or less and to strengthen families, be authorized to levy a sales tax of one-quarter of a cent in the county?”

If approved, the vote would create a nine-member board, which would be appointed by the Clay County Commission. The board would be an all-volunteer position with members that are not a member of a political subdivision or a member of an agency requesting money from the board.

The tax is estimated to bring in about $8 million dollars of revenue per year. Those funds will then be distributed, broadly, to help children.

The services to be offered would include: temporary shelter services for abused, neglected, runaway, homeless or emotionally disturbed children and youth, respite care services, unmarried parent services, outpatient chemical dependency and psychiatric treatment, outpatient counseling and related services as part of transitional living programs for children and youth, crisis intervention services inclusive of telephone hotlines, prevention programs that promote healthy lifestyles among children and youth and strengthen families, home-based and school-based family intervention programs, individual, group or family counseling and therapy services, psychological evaluations and behavioral health screenings.

According to Synergy Services, an organization which provides many of those services to children in Clay County already, more than 20,000 children in Clay County are turned away from needed services, because there isn’t enough capacity to meet the needs.

Once formed, the group would then establish the guidelines and procedures for officially getting money to those in need.



-Bryce Mereness

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