EAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio (WKBN) — The Columbiana County Board of Developmental Disabilities is closing its East Liverpool site by the end of the summer, which has some parents concerned.
Columbiana County Board of Developmental Disabilities Superintendent William Devon said the board has been looking at closing its EDI-South Workshop facility in East Liverpool for several years now, but understands it is not easy for those families using that facility.
Barb Bussard’s son Nate has a developmental disability called Noonan syndrome. Right now, he is one of 50 remaining clients at the EDI-South Workshop, which is slated to close Aug. 25.
“It was a definite shock to me because of the rumors and what he had been hearing from other clients enrolled. I just said ‘you know, nobody’s certain, things get started,’ but then this came came home,” Bussard said.
“I was going to cry and it was sad. I didn’t want to leave here,” Nate said.
The board said by consolidating its three facilities into two, and by laying off four to six employees, they will be able to provide better services and save more than $400,000 each year.
“We are not closing any programming. We are expanding our programming actually. We are just closing a facility and it is not an easy sell. It is not an easy thing for me to do, but it is the smart thing to do at this point,” Devon said.
Devon said declining enrollment is one reason they are closing EDI-South. He said both facilities in Lisbon can accommodate a combined 230 clients, when currently the CCBDD is only serving 135 clients with three facilities.
“We want to make them feel at ease and do everything we can to make this as smooth a transition as possible,” Devon said.
But Bussard said the closure is added stress for both her and her son.
“Regardless of what he says, this is causing a lot of stress and a lot of unnecessary anxiety,” she said.
To see a flier on why the closure is being done, click here.
To see a list of frequently asked questions, click here.