The Champaign County Health District is hoping voters will renew a five-year, 0.4-mill levy on Nov. 8 to ensure the continuation of services the district provides.
The levy is for current expenses and is estimated to generate $263,000 in revenue annually, according to information from the Champaign County Auditor’s Office. County voters approved the levy 57.12 percent to 42.88 percent when it was last on the ballot in March 2012.
Champaign County Health Commissioner Jeff Webb said multiple services the health district provides funded through the levy include the public nuisance program, investigating mold, school inspection programs, rabies program, infectious waste program and a diabetes education program. Some other services the health district performs funded through the levy include lice checks, blood pressure checks, health screenings and newborn home visits.
Webb said the levy will cost the owner of a $100,000 property $12.60 a year.
“Without that funding we couldn’t provide those services,” Webb said. “We’re a small health district here – we’re not Columbus or Dayton where they have big health departments with big funds. We’re small and we do a lot of work with the staff that we have.”
According to information provided by Webb, the levy accounted for 26 percent of the health district’s revenue in 2015.
Regarding staffing, Webb said the district has around 20 employees who are a mix of full- and part-time employees. Employee salaries accounted for 58 percent of expenses for 2015.
“Just in environmental we have the environmental director and he’s full time and the plumbing inspector is full time but our food inspector is part time, our nuisance guy is part time and then there’s part-time employees on the nursing side, too,” Webb said. “It’s a mix of full- and part-time people, we do the best with the budget that we have and sometimes you don’t have the luxury of hiring 19 or 20 full-time employees.”
Webb said the health district has the ability to transfer levy funds to other areas when dealing with unanticipated costs.
Earlier this year, the health district collaborated with Triad Elementary School to test over 300 people after an active case of tuberculosis was found.
“The product that we bought (for testing) was paid by levy dollars. The labor that went into it was paid by levy dollars,” Webb said. “Without that we wouldn’t have been able to do what we’ve done out there.”
With the levy, Webb said the health district is not asking for any additional money.
“We try to make the best use of the dollars that our public gives us here in this county,” Webb said.