Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Dan Reed
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Restructuring MSOCS, 2019 county budget


August 2, 2018

All Minnesota State Operated Community Services (MSOCS) vocational sites are closing and reopening with the area services being provided by a new day program in the Cloquet area in May 2019 reported Dave Lee, Director of Carlton County Health and Human Services at the Adjourned Session of the Carlton County Board of Commissioners on July 23.

MSOCS asserts that the change will improve person-oriented vocational services to individuals with disabilities. Funding will not come from county tax dollars. The county has identified a service gap for individuals with autism and "would like to see this service need specifically addressed by MSOCS at their new site."

The Moose Lake Star-Gazette will continue to stay abreast of details and developments regarding the restructuring of MSOCS.

Work continues on the county budget for 2019. Each department is reporting their needs for the next budget year and any additional expenditure proposed. For example, County Coordinator Dennis Genereau reported that cost of building maintenance was budgeted to rise to $1.3 million — about a 35 percent rise. Aging buildings and changing program needs are putting pressure on the maintenance department budget.

The county board approved hiring a consulting firm to handle implementing many of the ideas presented in the jail study. The contract is for one year and will cost $160,000 with $50,000 anticipated to come from a grant.

“This move will, it is hoped, reduce the number using the jail,” commented Commissioner Gary Peterson, “and will give us an idea of what the jail population is like and what programing needs are required by the Minnesota Department of Corrections. We are being pressured by the State to upgrade our jail. We need a lot more information before we as a board decide what to do.”


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