First request to be made of new income tax revenue

The first funding request to tap into money from last year’s Bartholomew County income tax hike to battle drug addiction will be heard this afternoon.

Bartholomew courts officials are asking for just over $240,000 to fund what they are calling REALM, or the Recovery Enables a Life for Men program. The court-ordered drug treatment program is patterned after a similar program for women called WRAP that the county already has been using.

Jeff Jones, the executive lead for the Alliance for Substance Abuse Progress in Bartholomew County said that a city and county funding board will consider the request.

The new joint board was set up specifically to consider the funding requests from the new income tax revenues. It is made up of the Columbus mayor, a county commissioner, the hospital CEO and members of the city and county councils.

Jones said this is the first financial request of the recently formed board.

The proposal includes funding to operate the rest of this year and all of next year. If approved by the funding board, the request would then go on to the City and/or County Councils for final funding approval.

The Substance Abuse Public Funding Board meets at 2 p.m. today in the Council Chambers at Columbus City Hall.