By JIM MAURER
The Hancock County commissioners approved an additional appropriation of $327,000 to the county Department of Job and Family Service to assist with care and housing of foster children.
The funds were previously budgeted for the department.
The opioid addiction crisis has caused a need to find safe housing for youngsters whose parents can’t care for them. The department had 34 children in foster care during 2014, but now there are 91.
The county is spending about $100,000 monthly for the service, said Commissioner Mark Gazarek.
A home septic system installation also was approved by the commissioners Thursday for a property on Marion/Biglick Township 202.
Bluffton Aeration Service, Bluffton, was awarded the contract for about $3,005. The work will be completely funded by a Water Pollution Control Loan Fund/Home Sewage Treatment System grant through the state Environmental Protection Agency.
If necessary, soil testing will be done for an additional $350.
Assistant Hancock County Prosecutor Cindy Land said she will prepare a resolution for the commissioners’ consideration next week which would cover any necessary soil testing at the same $350 cost in the future. It will keep from having to prepare a separate resolution each time, she said.
Separately, the commissioners approved $6,850 for replacement of heating, ventilating, air conditioning equipment in the state Bureau of Motor Vehicles and Title office, 8210 Hancock County 140.