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Young people in need Men’s shorts, boxer (All sizes), Ankle socks and T-shirts for the summer. To assist please contact Morgan Grier, Crosswalk Shelter Supervisor at (509) 688-1114.

Extra money looked for native well being boards | Native Information

BOSTON – Local health officials were at the forefront of the state’s longstanding battle against COVID-19 – testing residents, enforcing virus restrictions, and setting up vaccination clinics.

Medical experts say the often underfunded and understaffed health authorities need more resources to ensure they are ready for the next pandemic.

Dr. Howard Koh, a professor at Harvard University’s TH Chan School for Public Health and former state public health officer, said the pandemic was a wake-up call to empower local health authorities who have a vital role in controlling the virus and protecting it Publicity.

“These local departments were overwhelmed and underinvested for too long,” he said. “That is one of the reasons we have seen such devastation.”

Dr. Carole Allen, president of the Massachusetts Medical Society, agrees that more funds are needed to strengthen local health officials.

Allen, a former chair of the Arlington Board of Health, said stronger local health officials will improve the state and federal response to future COVID-19 outbreaks, as well as other viral infections, natural disasters, and disasters.

“Local health authorities understand the needs of their own community, and this is especially true of minorities and underserved communities,” she said.

Allen said better communication and collaboration was also needed between local officials and federal and state agencies that have not always been on the same page during the pandemic.

Massachusetts health authorities had extensive powers before the pandemic. These have been expanded as part of the health emergency to include the power to close businesses, close roads and restrict access to public property.

Many health authorities were already understaffed and quickly overwhelmed by the myriad of health restrictions posed by COVID-19 for businesses and individuals.

Some health officials have been forced into the roles of police officers as they attempted to balance civil liberties with the need to protect their communities from outbreaks.

Governor Charlie Baker has recognized the importance of health officials in fighting the pandemic and has diverted additional funds to support their scarce operations.

In April, his government created a $ 7.7 million grant program for local health authorities to improve cross-border coordination.

Secretary of State for Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders said the funding will help expand collaboration between independently operating health agencies.

“Strong local health authorities across the state will better prepare us for major future health care threats or pandemics,” she said in a statement.

Koh, who served as deputy health secretary during the Obama administration, said the federal and state governments need to make more concerted efforts to support local health systems.

“We urgently need to revitalize the public health system so we don’t go through this again,” he said.

Christian M. Wade runs the Massachusetts Statehouse for the North of Boston Media Group’s newspapers and websites. Send him an email at

Cash looked for Hearth, Police, Road departments

PEA RIDGE – The need for extra cash to meet the growing demands of a growing population has led city guides to debate voters’ demand for a one cent sales tax.

Pea Ridge voters approved the current city sales tax of 1% in 1984.

The issue has been scrutinized by city officials for years and discussed at the February city council meeting with Kevin Faught, senior vice president of Stephens Public Finance. The information was re-presented to city officials in March at both a city council meeting and a full committee meeting.

Several other cities in Benton County have sales tax, with both Rogers and Bentonville charging 2%.

The two questions city officials would like to ask voters are to apply for a $ 5.8 million bond for road repairs and projects, and a one-cent sales tax to pay back the bond and cover the As required by the police and fire brigade.

“The last time Kevin was here,” Mayor Jackie Crabtree said, “we talked about allocating a quarter of the tax revenue … it wouldn’t be enough to cover the $ 5.8 million, so we’d have to use full 1. ” Penny as cover. A quarter would pay bond payments, but 1 cent would cover that, must have that much cover. “

City clerk Sandy Button said that if the bail is paid, the proceeds will be split in three ways between the street, the police and the fire department.

Button told city officials that if the bond is approved but sales tax is not, the issue would be controversial as there would be no collateral for the bonds.

It will be difficult to do big road projects “like we have to do when we have to wait for the money to come in,” said Button.

“It’s like getting all of their money upfront,” Button said, explaining that the loan gives the Department of Roads the money it needs for projects.

Jesse Fryer (who ran for council last November), who was in the audience, asked, “To get the voters on board, we thought about equalizing the amount of money … that goes to different places. I sit in between those two men (police chief Lynn Hahn and fire chief Jack Wassman) who will benefit from it.

“Last time I checked … I have a feeling that if you can find some way to make up for this in any way, you will win voter support,” Fryer said, explaining that he believed That the money should be better balanced The fire brigade and the police have offset the allocation of the sales tax from 1984. “Will also give the city a level playing field to say that we support the fire brigade so that they can really, really get under their feet.”

“I think that would go that far with voters personally,” Fryer said, and said when he stood for election last fall, he heard voters say they didn’t think city officials would invest in the fire department.

Councilor Merrill White said the proposal would split the money equally between police and fire departments.

Fryer said the number shouldn’t be the same to make up for the previous assignment.

“Ultimately, that was what the voters brought into play back then,” White said, citing the 1984 city sales tax. “We can’t change what happened in 1984, but we can certainly change that we move forward.”

“I heard the exact same thing from a single person who called me,” said Councilor Ginger Larsen. “It’s a relevant issue. I think it doesn’t make sense to me to put something in front of the people they don’t vote for. If you don’t get it right, they won’t make it.”

“I took five calls today … with exactly the same concern … they would feel better if the police and fire were more evenly and evenly distributed. They want them to be the same overall, including the old sales tax,” said Larsen.

“If we leave it that way (the 1984 tax levy) there is nothing that says we can’t adjust their budgets,” said Councilor Cody Keene.

“It’s easy to digest as it is written,” said prosecutor Shane Perry.

“You have to be able to understand it. It’s very complicated,” said Larsen. “I would like some public feedback on the way it is written. No matter how much you teach, I worry that we are investing time and money and it will be wasted. I have not received good feedback.”

“Are we good at having him bring us a prescription?” Asked Crabtree.

Keene moved a regulation to be drawn up to request the vote. White agreed to the motion.

White and Keene voted for the motion; Larsen voted against. Councilor Steve Guthrie was absent.

Larsen said after the meeting that she believed she needed more feedback from the city’s voters. “I wanted them to wait for us to have public feedback as we didn’t have any information to share. I didn’t.” I don’t feel comfortable voting without all of the information out there. “

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In addition to a portion of the county sales tax revenue as needed and impact fees, each of the departments generates revenue from multiple sources including:

Fire Department.

• City sales tax *

^^ 5% to fire

^^ 7% to the ambulance

• light taxes

• EMS billing

• County EMS

• Football standby

Police Headquarters.

• City sales tax * 24%

• Percentage of fines received

• SRO salary from the school

Street department

• Property tax

• City sales tax * 40%

• State turnback

* Percentage of revenue from current 1-cent city sales tax (approved in 1984)