MARINETTE — Marinette County Health and Human Services (HHS) will have one less mental health therapist position and one more AODA (Alcohol and Other Drug Addiction) counselor if the County Board of Supervisors approves the recommendation of its Administrative Committee.

The Administrative Committee by a 6-0 margin voted to make that recommendation Thursday on a motion by Supervisor Don Pazynski that was seconded by Supervisor Rick Polzin. The same resolution was approved July 10 by the HHS Board.

“As part of the budget process each year I look at positions and efficiencies,” HHS Director Robin Elsner said. “We’re meeting the community’s need for mental health treatment. But I think, as most of you know, we have an ongoing AODA problem.

“So what I’m recommending is to eliminate one of my mental health therapists in the ADAPT Clinic and create a fourth AODA counselor.” 

The resolution approved by the Administrative Committee calls for the change to take effect immediately if it is approved by the entire county board.

Elsner said the proposed changes in his staff would result in a county tax savings of $9,015.26.

“AODA counselors are paid less than mental health therapists,” he explained. “I think this will help us meet the community’s need for alcohol and other substance abuse treatment.”

Elsner said the mental health therapist position he proposes to eliminate is currently vacant.

Also at Thursday’s meeting, Finance Director Laura Mans reported:

¦ That after the first six months of 2019, county timber sales were at 30.40% of what was projected at $1,011.441. 

Mans said she met with Forestry and Parks Administrator Pete Villas and the decline was attributed to slowed cutting in the spring because of cold and rainy weather that resulted in snow runoff, muddy roads and standing water on sandy roads.

¦ Sales tax revenue was at 37.30% of what was projected at $784,769 for the first six months. 

Mans explained that only three months of sales tax revenues have been posted, explaining “We should be right around 25%. So we’re actually up on our sales tax revenue.”

¦ Investment revenue at $689,127 is at 137.80% of what was projected for the first half of this year.