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Dunn County Social Services to incur program cuts, Move part of cost-saving measures of Department of Human Services

MANNING -- Dunn County Social Services is facing cuts to a couple of its programs due to budgetary issues within the North Dakota Department of Human Services.

MANNING -- Dunn County Social Services is facing cuts to a couple of its programs due to budgetary issues within the North Dakota Department of Human Services.

Social worker Chantelle Kuntz appeared before the Dunn County Commission alongside new county director Melissa Pavlicek during a regular meeting Wednesday to explain the situation.

Kuntz said the North Dakota Department of Human Service had overspent its budget in 2015 by 4 percent, or around $53.6 million.

“So they are going to be cutting a lot of our programs,” she said, adding that it would take effect July 1.

For Dunn County, she said one of the programs affected would be their child care assistance program, which is a lower-cost option for parents who can’t afford regular child care services. The eligibility options are due to change, Kuntz said.

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The other change will be to the homemaker services program that falls under the Social Services Office’s home and community-based services, which Kuntz said primarily serves elderly residents at their households as an alternative to a retirement home. She said the office employs two qualified service providers that do this task.

However, their pay would be cut from $6.99 per unit, or 15 minutes of service, to $3.45 per unit.

Kuntz said such a cut could cause the agency’s providers to look for opportunity elsewhere, since they also have the option of working as an independent quality service provider.

“There’s going to be a lot of changes with this cut, and it’s unfortunate,” she later said in a phone interview.

Dunn County burn ban reinstated

Dunn County Emergency Manager Denise Brew received the commissioner’s permission to reinstate the county’s burn ban.

Brew said she decided to reinstate the ban for the season following a recent request from a community member to burn a garbage pit, which couldn’t be refused.

She said later on by phone that the move reflects the burn ban of the U.S. Forest Service, which has not been lifted this winter since there have remained portions of land susceptible to fire.

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Residents are forbidden to do open burning during fire risk conditions labeled “high” and greater. They are also requested to contact local fire departments beforehand.

Related Topics: DUNN COUNTY
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