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Counseling service opens office in Marion

Staff writer

County residents ordered by the court to attend drug or alcohol counseling, and parents whose children are at risk of being — or have already been — taken into foster care often have to make such long drives to get to the counseling sessions they require that they are defeated by the travel time involved.

That’s what the people who recently opened The Restoration Center are hoping to change. Joy Waldbauer and Carl Taylor, Restoration Center CEO, talked to county commissioners Monday about why they have opened an office in Marion.

“Our primary focus is to help with mental health services,” Taylor said.

Many people ordered by the court to undergo drug or alcohol counseling have already lost their driver’s license, Taylor said. The difficulty of traveling out of town to treatment is “a huge cost,” but the real cost is paid by the child whose parent goes to prison because they did not comply with court-ordered treatment.

“I wanted to talk to you about the importance of keeping services here,” he said.

Having treatment available locally helps people return to being productive members of society, Waldbauer said.

Taylor said the effect of drugs and alcohol impact all segments of society regardless of socioeconomic status, gender, race, or community size. It also affects family relationships, because users eventually cannot face their families.

Having local treatment options helps people remain in the community instead of moving elsewhere, Waldbauer said.

Commissioners and onlookers were interested. Hillsboro economic development director Anthony Roy voiced support, saying he has seen people unable to make the drive to treatment.

Commissioner Dianne Novak said a transportation service she’s talked about would “fall right in line” with that need for transportation to treatment.

“Your program sounds like it has great merit,” another onlooker said. “Do you address spiritual issues?”

Taylor said the client’s spiritual needs are a part of treatment.

Novak asked if there is a connection between drug abuse and suicide, to which Waldbauer said yes.

Marion resident Nancy Marr, who owns property originally built as a county poor farm, spoke to commissioners about lack of economic development and lack of ideas for economic development. Many people are interested in poor farms of Kansas, and she can’t find workers to restore her property despite having gotten a grant for that purpose, Marr said.

Becker suggested she meet with Roy and Marion economic development director Randy Collett.

Sheriff Rob Craft requested more money to hire deputies. One is on military deployment, an investigator is working a patrol shift, and two more deputies are needed, Craft said.

Commissioners voted unanimously to increase the department budget to hire additional staff.

In other business, commissioners heard an update on a bridge reconstruction and approved a change order to cover additional work.

Last modified Jan. 31, 2019

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