CARE program reopens its doorsFollowing a scare that threatened to shut down the Chemical Addiction Recovery Enterprise (CARE) program in Carlton just one month ago, it appears the local program is already on the rebound.
By: Wendy Johnson, Pine Journal
Following a scare that threatened to shut down the Chemical Addiction Recovery Enterprise (CARE) program in Carlton just one month ago, it appears the local program is already on the rebound.
In a report to Carlton County department heads meeting as the Committee of the Whole on Tuesday, Pam Brumsfeld of Carlton County Health and Human Services said the original client population of the program (formerly known as Liberalis) has returned from its temporary quarters in Brainerd. In addition, she said all indications are that the numbers have already started to creep upward, thanks to increased referrals during the recent hiatus.
The Carlton program, noted for the fact it’s the only all-female-run drug rehabilitation program in the state, was temporarily shut down earlier this year due to a water main break in the building. At that time, the clients were moved to a similar program in Brainerd. During the interim, the state determined not to reopen the Carlton site due to decreased numbers of clients, since each of the program sites is expected to remain self-supporting.
An immediate outcry from county officials, staff, clients, politicians and surrounding counties elicited a favorable response from the state Department of Health, who agreed to give the Carlton program a six-month grace period in which to improve its numbers.
Carlton County Economic Development Director Pat Oman told members of the committee that he has already met with CARE program director Deb Ryback to look at marketing initiatives to let the people of the state know what the Carlton program has to offer.
Brumsfeld reported that informational meetings are being set up for later this month with various county referral organizations as well as those on the Fond du Lac Reservation and the Iron Range in hopes that the Carlton program’s referral base will expand in the future.
In other business, Ed Barkos, a county taxpayer and assistant clerk of Atkinson Township, addressed the board with concerns over a recent county board decision to adjust the salaries of non-represented county employees in order to bring them on track with similar positions in surrounding counties.
In 2008, County Personnel Director Mike Stafford was directed by the board to research comparable salaries and present that information to commissioners, who then passed a resolution to accept the suggested adjustment in pay scales.
Barkos stated to committee members that information regarding the specifics of the increases should be a matter of public record and he has had difficulty in getting anyone to provide him with that information.
Stafford said he was on vacation at the time Barkos lodged his initial inquiry.
“Give me a time frame and I will try to have that information for you,” said Stafford.
Barkos said he would like it in time for his township meeting on April 13.