County Approves VOCA Grant Project Modification

CLEARFIELD – The Clearfield County Commissioners approved the Victim/Witness office’s federal Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grant after being presented a whittled-down project modification that didn’t include a deficit at Tuesday’s regular meeting.

Last week, the commissioners asked Victim/Witness Director Margie Rosselli to attend their work session to publicly discuss the office’s financial struggles. The (VOCA) grant, according to her, has been slashed by 9 percent.

She said this reduced the office’s funding by $11,000 and subsequently forced program cuts shrinking the shortfall to $3,407. She said the office has absorbed the deficit by cutting a part-time advocate as well as on-call and therapist services.

“There’s no deficit,” she said. When asked by Commissioner Joan Robinson-McMillen, Rosselli said these services were gone and wouldn’t be funded by the VOCA grant. She said the part-time advocate wouldn’t be providing intensive VOCA services.

Rosselli anticipated placing the part-time advocate under the state Rights and Services Act (RASA) grant. She advised the commissioners she’d have a better idea closer to the November project modification.

“Starting today though, we are going to live within our means. We aren’t going to incur any more deficit in November,” said Robinson-McMillen. Rosselli said she, too, wasn’t willing to operate under a deficit.

Commissioner Mark B. McCracken pointed out that although VOCA funding had been cut by 9 percent, the county still received approximately $100,000.

“It’s still a substantial grant. We’re still getting a significant amount of money here,” he said. Robinson-McMillen said the Victim/Witness office must live within the grant, however. She asked that Rosselli keep the commissioners informed about the office’s funding, as they begin preparing next year’s budget.

Commissioner Chairman John A. Sobel said the commissioners certainly want the Victim/Witness programs maintained. But he said the county doesn’t want to be picking up the deficit.

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