Property tax would fund mental health programs in Knox County

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Galesburg, Ill. (KWQC) - Mental Health facilities in Knox County are urging residents to vote 'yes' to a referendum on Tuesday's Consolidated Election ballot. If passed, the county would increase property taxes by .15 percent in order to improve several mental health organizations in the area. CEO of KCCDD, Mark Rudolph, said the additional funding is crucial to continuing their operations.

"The problem is that things are going to get worse tomorrow, the waiting list is going to grow tomorrow, the building is going to be in works condition, folks will be waiting for mental health treatment longer."

If the referendum is passed, the county would then create Community Mental Health Board 708. The board would be comprised of seven volunteers that disperse the funding to mental health agencies in need. Rudolph said over the last few years KCCDD has not been able to accept new clients or make needed improvements to the facility.

"We're trying to do a whole lot more, with a whole lot less."

Knox County Sheriff, David Clague, said the funding would also help cut down on crowing at the correctional center. in 2016, out of 143 inmates 31 percent were diagnosed with a mental disability. Clague said Mental Health Board 708 would help those inmates receive proper care. If the referendum passes, the board would be appointed within the next 60 days, the agencies would receive funding sometime next year.