NEMPDD programs touch many lives

RIPLEY – During their meeting Monday morning, Tippah Supervisors heard from Northeast Mississippi Planning and Development District Executive Director Sharon Gardner, who outlined the various NEMPDD programs under way in the county. Those programs touch many lives here, ranging from child care help to aging programs to grants that help obtain better sewers, sidewalks and schools, to industrial development assistance and jobs. She presented a program outlining seven categories: Aging funds analysis, Medicaid waiver, ChildCare certification program, economic and community development, revolving loan program, tuition assistance program, and workforce summer youth program. Tippah is one of six counties in the NEMPDD. *Aging Services include insurance counseling, information regarding selection of prescription plan, ombudsman service (monthly visit to licensed nursing homes and personal care homes by a licensed social worker), health promotion activities such as health fairs, she said. The ombudsman has the responsibility of reporting/addressing any reports of complaints of residents or their families and resolving with management or seeking the involvement of the State. Northeast PDD also subcontracts funds (federal and state) to Northeast Mississippi Community Services who provide home-delivered meals, case management, and homemaker services to eligible clients. *The Medicaid Waiver Division serves 100 eligible clients per month in Tippah County. These persons are nursing home eligible but prefer to stay in their own homes as long as possible. Services provided through the waiver include case management by a RN and social worker, home delivered meals, homemaker service, and home health aide, among other things, according to Mrs. Gardner. . *The Child Care Certificate program provides assistance to pay child care providers. It is available to low-income parents or students and can be paid to licensed child care providers or home providers. Those qualifying must be income eligible, and the program has a sliding fee scale. *The Economic and Community Development Division writes grant applications for services and/or infrastructure needs of the county and/or its municipalities. Examples include: an emergency grant of $21,045 to Walnut for sewer improvements, $310,095 to the South Tippah School District for sidewalk improvements in the Blue Mt. Area, $850,000 for access road at Abby Mfg. in Walnut in 2007. “We have several applications that have been made recently and funding is still pending,” she said. *The Revolving Loan Program makes loans to existing, new, or expanding business at a rate of $20,000 per job created or retained. Terms generally are 5 % and guaranteed for 10 years. Special loan funds are available for female and minority owned businesses. Loan amounts may by from $5,000 up to $750,000, according to Mrs. Gardner. She added that NEMPDD is making a $25,000 contribution to the Tippah County Tuition Assistance Program. NEMPDD has also administered the summer youth project in Tippah County employing 50 eligible youth with a payroll totaling near $104,000.

Hank Wiesner/Southern Sentinel