Commissioners OK money for 211 information & referral help line in Ashland County

The Ashland County Office Building at the intersection of West Main and Cottage Streets is seen here Tuesday, April 6, 2021. TOM E. PUSKAR/TIMES-GAZETTE.COM

Ashland County Board of Commissioners

Thursday, March 30

KEY ACTION Entered into a contract with Associated Charities, the Mansfield/Richland County Public Library and the Samaritan Hospital Foundation to provide 211 call center services for Ashland County residents, with a $15,000 contribution from Job and Family Services.

Previous meeting: State funding to cover $440K bridge replacement project in Montgomery Township

More: New covered bridge over the Mohican River is a dream come true for this canoe enthusiast

DISCUSSION Free and confidential, 211 is the phone number reserved specifically in the U.S. by the FCC to provide community information and referrals for those in need to health, human services and social services organizations. It's similar to 911 in that calls are routed to a local or regional call center, but 211 focuses on non-emergencies.

Terry Carter, information and referral coordinator for First Call 211, spoke on the ongoing efforts of the program and the need for contract services. “In 2010 the Samaritan Foundation came to us and was curious about the 211 services that were available across Ohio,” Carter told commissioners, “and were interested in bringing that service to Ashland County residents. They graciously funded the first three years of the program, which went live in 2020. We are now ready to renew services going forward.”

Commissioner Denny Bittle asked if the program has been presented at other government meetings around the county to help get the word out.

“We have not yet,” replied Carter. “That is part of our outreach. To make sure that all those smaller communities … know it is countywide. Getting them to know how to interact with the services.”

Other action at the March 30 Ashland County commissioners meeting

  • Accepted a resignation from Mark Potts, custodian, effective March 24.

  • Authorized a check for $145 to Holland & Muirden attorneys toward the prosecution of three pending cases dealing with the prevention of cruelty to animals.

  • Authorized a contract in the amount of $184,995 with SC Strategic Solutions for records scanning and associated software for the Clerk of Courts. After a brief discussion, funds will come form ARP money.

  • Authorized Celia Cureton, public representative, as an appointment to the Community Corrections planning board.

  • Approved travel for Maintenance Superintendent Dennis Harris, Engineer’s Office employees Kelly Hickey and Ryan Athy and Beth Jackenheimer of the Coroner’s Office for various travel in April and May.

  • Authorized a $5,000 donation to Mohican Area Growth Foundation for the creation of pickleball courts in Loudonville.

  • Approved a resolution for the county to participate in ODOT’s annual road salt bid for approximately 3,000 tons of road salt.

  • Accepted a quote from VASU Communications in the amount of $8,093 to move radios and antennas for the County Emergency Operations Center to the County Office Building.

  • Went behind closed doors at 10 a.m. to consider the appointment of a public employee.

  • Entered into a contract with Melway Paving for the 2023 asphalt program in the amount of near $1.6 million.

UP NEXT Meets at 9 a.m. Thursday, April 13, in the Commissioner’s Conference Room on the second floor of the County Office Building. The meeting also is livestreamed on the county's Facebook page.

This article originally appeared on Ashland Times Gazette: Commissioners agree to help fund 211 referral line in Ashland County