06/30/05 — Eastpointe board approves new budget

View Archive

Eastpointe board approves new budget

By Barbara Arntsen
Published in News on June 30, 2005 1:45 PM

The Eastpointe board approved a $29.9 million budget Tuesday for 2005-06 year, down almost $3 million from last year's budget.

Eastpointe provides services for people with mental health and substance abuse problems and developmental disabilities in Wayne, Duplin, Sampson and Lenoir counties.

The agency's budget decreased because many services previously provided by Eastpointe are being provided by private agencies as part of a reform in state mental health procedures.

Ken Jones, chief financial officer for Eastpointe, said that the major changes came from subcontracting child and adult case management services, comprehensive treatment services, a community alternatives treatment program, and a geriatric program.

Jones said that Eastpointe intended to continue serving people with mental health, substance abuse, and developmental disabilities.

"It is important to note that even though Eastpointe is subcontracting services, it is still responsible for monitoring providers of these services," Jones said.

The new budget does not include money to pay Sheriff's Office deputies overtime pay for transporting patients to hospitals.

The Eastpointe board of directors learned in April that the agency was paying off-duty deputies in four counties $20 an hour to transport mental patients, even though sheriffs' departments are required by state law to provide the service.

It cost Eastpointe more than $62,900 annually for the service.

In its budget ordinance, the board required that any non-direct care consultants costing more than $15,000 would require board approval before hiring.