PASSAGES: Thanks county for support

COLUMBIA CITY — Tom O’Neill and Dave Lehman, of Passages, came before the county commissioners Monday thanking them for their continued support to the organization over the years.Passages mission is “to support people with intellectual and/or development disabilities in living, learning, working and socializing in the community through the use of quality practices.” As O’Neill handed the board a sheet demonstrating the county’s support, he told them the funds have been mainly used for transportation related costs, as Passages serves over 100 people annually.“I think the service we provide is exemplary, and the money given has been very important,” said O’Neill.O’Neill said Passages is on course to purchase the rest of the land that was once the site of the Columbia City’s old hospital.After the board asked several questions concerning transportation, O’Neill replied, “To the best of my knowledge, we are meeting the needs with the best of our ability.”Lehman said he is proud of the progress the Whitley County Passages has made over the years.“It’s a very different world in providing services, but Whitley County has come so far,” said Lehman.The commissioners informed O’Neill and Lehman that Passages is currently budgeted to receive $35,000.“Thirty-five thousand is in the budget, but it has not been approved yet,” said Commissioner Don Amber.