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Elkin remains county board chair

Darianne Johnson, DVRCC executive director, appeared before Stark County Commissioners Tuesday, joined by DVRCC staff members, to request $150,000 in additional funds to hire two new advocates. (Brandon L. Summers / The Dickinson Press)

Jay Elkin remains Stark County Board of Commissioners chairman.

Elkin was appointed District 36 Senator Friday, replacing Kelly Armstrong, who resigned after being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in November.

"State Century Code allows a person to serve in the state legislature and remain on a county commission or city board," Ken Zander, county vice chair, explained.

County officers will be elected at the board's end-of-the-year meeting on Dec. 27.

"Depending on what Jay wants to do, he can either retain the chairmanship or he can give it up," Zander said. "By tradition, that's the chairman's choice."

At the Stark County Commission's regular meeting Tuesday, the Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Center requested additional county funds.

Darianne Johnson, DVRCC executive director, requested $150,000 to hire two new advocates and provide a sprinkler system for the DVRCC's new shelter.

"In the grant cycle that was last year, because we didn't know when we would be in the building, I could not write into the grant specifically for a position for another advocate or two," Johnson said. "So we're looking at waiting for the next grant cycle to be able to write that into our grant funding."

One of the positions would serve at Family Connection, a safe visitation center that hosts supervised exchanges and visitations.

Both DVRCC and Family Connection receive county funding.

Zander, serving as interim chairman, requested DVRCC return to the board in January after privately discussing the agency's needs with county commissioners.

Stark County Vector Control requested $100,000 from the county.

Jerry Meyer, Vector Control board chair, explained that the board is authorized one mill for its mosquito eradication efforts.

The board's coverage includes Gladstone, Lefor, Richardton and Taylor.

"Over the last several years we have not been receiving the mill because we've had a surplus in our budget, so we've been going on by what we've had," he said. "For 2019, we are definitely in need of money.

The board's 2019 budget is $160,000 and they currently have $70,000 in their budget, Meyer explained.

The majority of their funds go toward chemicals.

"We spend about $100,00 a year on chemicals," Meyer said. "The rest goes mostly to salary, as far as sending people out into the field."

The funding is needed, Meyer emphasized.

"If we don't get any funding for the year, then we won't have vector control," he said. "You're the only people we get funding from. We don't get funding from anyone else."

Commissioners approved the additional funds, which will be drawn from the county's general fund.

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