After nearly four months of budget struggles, Southeastern Mental Health is about to get some help sorting out their finances. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human services warned the Southeastern Center that a takeover would happen if they couldn't make ends meet. The state is sending in help, in the person of financial expert Joy Futrell from Raliegh. She is planning on getting Southeastern Mental Health Facility out of it's financial mess. Art Costantini: "We are actually looking forward to her coming, and we are happy that the state is involved." "Our goal is to get in, develop a new budget for them, and a plan of correction, and just as quickly as possible, turn the matter back around to southeastern to administer." Art Costantini says they have been struggling with the budget for nearly five months now. They started their fiscal year in the red, spending 1.4 million dollars in their first month. That's double what the state allowed in the budget. Art: "We are not happy that we got in the position where the state had to come in and take control, but given where we are, we are very happy that they have come in and done what they've done, because it makes them a partner to resolve the problem. Instead of being one more element that comes in and criticizes because we spent too much money or cut too many services, now they are a partner to come and help solve the problem." Futrell will take on the job of creating financial records, reviewing contracts with certain providers and making any necessary changes to the budget...so that southeastern can continue providing for clients....without fear of another financial nightmare....
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