(03/30/2006)
"It is business as usual, for now," for Calhoun's Community Resources at Grantsville, according to executive director Melanie Pagliaro of Parkersburg.

However, Bruce Parrish, a CRI board member told Roane County Commissioners that the future of CRI is in doubt.

Parrish said CRI board members are awaiting the results of a report that will suggest changes in the agency designed to save money.

He said the new regional director seems to favor consolidating county offices.

County Commissioner Rick Sampson, who is on the CRI board, says the agency is having problems. "I just keep advocating to keep the services alive in Calhoun," he said.

The social service agency has been in a financial pinch because of budget cuts.

Pagliaro told the Herald that problems could arise at the end of 2006 and the Calhoun office at Grantsville might have to partner with another local group to keep operating.

CRI funding was cut a few years back when money was issued on county population, which essentially meant that small, rural counties got the short end of the funding stick.

CRI has offices in 11 regional counties. Their budget of $4 million has been reduced to just over $2 million.

Local CRI director Janet McCormick says CRIs Thrift Store is filled with low-priced clothing bargains and items, which the general public can purchase.

CRI is announcing a new program - HELP loans. The Housing Emergency Loan Program is designed to help families that have emergency housing repairs.

Another program that assists a number of families, is the RAMP program, which assists low-income families who have a member in a wheelchair, to better access their house.

"We're still very busy helping the Calhoun community at CRI," said McCormick.


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