NEW CUMBERLAND-Hancock County voters once again threw their support behind the Hancock County Sheltered Workshop bond levy Tuesday, ensuring that services for people with disabilities will continue for another four years.
The levy, which raises about $250,000 toward the Workshop's annual budget of $2.5 million, helps especially with the cost of transporting clients who work at the Hancock Laundry in Weirton, said Executive Director Michael B. Hagg.
The laundry does almost 3 million pounds of laundry a year for commercial accounts such as nursing homes, hospitals and hotels. It employs about 110 people, including 80 with disabilities.
By law, the bond levy must pass by 60 percent and one vote, and unofficial vote totals from Tuesday's election showed the levy passing by a vote of 7,360 to 4,290. That's a victory margin of 63 percent.
"We're greatly appreciative to the voters of Hancock County. The county's always been tremendously supportive of our levy," Hagg said. "It's an important part of our revenue stream. ... We will spend the money wisely."
Hagg said the levy represents a "significant part of our budget. Most of our clients are not able to provide transportation for themselves. If we didn't provide it, they wouldn't be able to attend. ... The levy goes a long way in providing those services."
The Workshop has five vans, with another on the way, that it uses to transport clients to the laundry. It maintains staffing levels of one employee for every two clients. "We provide a very safe and well-staff environment," Hagg said.
Even though the Hancock Laundry provides a service for area businesses, its main purpose is to provide employment for people with disabilities in Hancock County, Hagg said. Clients include people with autism, physical handicaps, multiple handicaps, traumatic brain injury and mental illness.