County NEMCSA branches consolidate to central location

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MIO — Most of the Oscoda County NEMCSA services have been consolidated to a single location after the organization chose to move to a new building.

NEMCSA Family Services Coordinator Penny Irelan said the organization's three services, Early Head Start, preschool and Head Start, were spread out across the county and it was difficult for the branches to collaborate.

“We had three leases and have now combined them all into just one,” Irelan said. “Our different programs like to be together even though we all do different things.”

Irelan said the new building comes with multiple benefits. She cited more space to work, having a full kitchen, a closer location to town and better communication between the three NEMCSA branches as the main perks.

In addition to the various perks associate with the new building, the organization will be saving a substantial amount of money on rental costs. Consolidating the lease payments from three to one has brought the overall monthly payment to slightly more than half of what the organization used to pay. She said that price is before utility costs are considered, explaining the organization is still working out what utilities it will need to pay for.

Although the move will save the organization money, Irelan said it was less about finding more room in the budget, and more about getting all of the services in the county in a central location. She said families using one NEMCSA service generally qualify to use others as well. Irelan said consolidating to one building makes the transition from one program to another much easier. She said it also allows the different branches to collaborate better, improving the overall care provided.

Although the organization will be saving money through the new move, that does not mean it will be using the money saved to provide more to the county. Irelan said there are no plans as of yet to expand any of the programs NEMCSA offers to the county.

Classes at the new building are already underway after a one-week delay. The delay happened because it took longer than expected to get the building certified for the types of services NEMCSA offers.

Irelan said she wants to thank the families of those who work at the new office for helping to get the building up to snuff, fixing small things around the facility and filling holes on the property.

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