Michael Speak, chairman for the Phelps County Board for the Developmentally Disabled (BDD), addressed the county commissioners Tuesday concerning the budget requests for 2018 from agencies serving developmentally disabled county residents.

Michael Speak, chairman for the Phelps County Board for the Developmentally Disabled (BDD), addressed the county commissioners Tuesday concerning the budget requests for 2018 from agencies serving developmentally disabled county residents. Monies to fund the requested budgets are derived from a county tax levy that assesses property .0718 for every $100 of valuation with the agency operating procedures backed by Missouri statutes within Senate Bill 40 under County Health and Welfare Programs, Section 205.968.

The SB-40 Board is a staff of 17 that manage services for the developmentally disabled in Phelps (and Texas County) County, under the guidance of BDD. The SB-40 Board’s programs are funded by the tax levy, but also by the state for each service coordinator through billable hours.

Most of the discussion lay with the budget of recreation for the handicapped, since this request doesn’t have the oversight, such as the other organization’s budgets. Speak mentioned the SB-40 Board is state-audited seven or eight times a year.
A separate line-item budget request for $18,000 is money paid to the different school districts, such as Rolla and St. James public schools, to reimburse expenses for participation in the Special Olympics.
In relation to this item, a request was made by the BDD board on behalf of the SB-40 Board.
They would like the expenses to be paid to the SB-40 Board for disbursement by Brenda Rocoberto, the executive director, to simplify the payment process. Currently, these transactions must pass through three different people for payment of expenses.
“It’s (this particular reimbursement) a convoluted process,” said Speak.
After consulting with County Clerk Pam Grow, the commissioners determined the BDD request to be reasonable.
In general terms, referring to the operation of the SB-40 Board, Commissioner Larry Stratman said, “It’s essentially case management.”
Speak said Phelps County is one of the best counties concerning organized case management. Commissioner Gary Hicks asked for clarification of the term “case management.”
Speak said, “Any Phelps County resident with developmental disabilities gets registered through the SB-40 Board, who in turn, determines the services the individual needs for a quality life.” He added they also find the service providers for the individual. “The money for the actual services comes from the state,” he said. Speak also noted the process is very efficient. “There is no one on a waiting list in Phelps County,” he shared. “Brenda has been fantastic.”

One last piece of business concerned the appointment of a new BDD board member to fill a vacant slot. BDD’s recommendation to fill the board position is retired teacher and Phelps County resident Gary Young.
Commissioner Stratman made the motion that Mr. Young be appointed to the BDD board and was seconded by Commissioner Hicks.
Presiding Commissioner Randy Verkamp asked about the viability of state funding for the SB-40 Board.
“The state provides the funding as long as we have the case loads—and we have them,” said Speak.