Finance committee OKs mental health positions

NORWICH – Barring any unusual action taken at next month’s board meeting, the Chenango County Mental Hygiene Department will have more resources next year to treat mentally ill teens.

Members of the Finance Committee approved Wednesday - with opposition from only one town supervisor - the hiring of four employees to create the $250,000 state-funded Child and Family Clinic-Plus program. Dennis Brown, D-Pharsalia, voted against the measure.

With the added staff, there are 42 full and part-time employees listed on the department’s 2007 budget. Officials have said the clinic treats 1,200 individuals, including between 200 and 300 youths.

Brown has spoken out often against adding staff and the fringe benefit costs that compile as a result. He questioned the possibility of duplicating the efforts of the public schools and other youth service agencies in the county.

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