By Mike Kruzman /

The relocation of the County Veteran Services Department to a more visible street front has proved so successful that the Director is asking for new help in order to maintain providing quality service.

Veteran Services moved into their new location at 1420 Lawson Drive, next to the Secretary of State’s office in Genoa Township in December. Director Mary Durst told the General Government Committee of the Board of Commissioners that they have had a constant stream of walk-in traffic, this year, now that they can more easily be found.

Many veterans, she said, stop in when they or a spouse are doing business or shopping or in the plaza, just to see what the place is about, and are surprised and impressed. She said it’s been “neat to see the awe” as they ask questions and learn what the department is and offers, with many not knowing they had these services available to them. Durst said they have had veterans come in with Agent Orange exposure that have gone from zero to 100% service connection.

Durst said they have far exceeded numbers from previous years and are having trouble keeping up at the front desk. With phone calls constantly coming in, a second person at the desk could greatly help with reducing wait times. To help provide better service, Durst is asking for a new administrative aid position to be created. She said it would be a grade 3 position, which equates to roughly $37,000 per year, and wouldn’t be a big hit to their budget. Funding would come from grants through September, and then by millage monies after.

The Committee approved the request unanimously, and it will now go to the full Board for final consideration.