DHS office to close Dec. 15

Cathy Decker/Staff reporter

The Mercer County office of the Department of Human Services located at 601 SE 19th Ave., Aledo, will close its doors Wednesday, Dec. 15, according to DHS spokesperson Tom Green.

Mercer County is merging with the Warren County office, 1245 S. Main St., Monmouth. The merge affects four staff -- three caseworkers and one clerical, who will move to the Monmouth office, Green said. The phone number for Warren County DHS is (309) 734-2159.

He pointed out the two offices already had been being administered by one person -- Cydney Robbins. "She will no longer have to make the trips between the two offices," said Green.

Programs affected include Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), which is the food stamp program, and the medical assistance program. "Those cases will now move to Monmouth," said Green.

In November 2010  Mercer County had 19 TANF cases and 250 SNAP cases. "A case is the same as a household," said Green. Warren County had 72 TANF cases and 1,046 SNAP cases for the same timeframe. Households receiving medical assistance for the two counties are 2,500 for Warren County and 1,235 for Mercer County.

"The Monmouth office will have nine or 10 staff after the move next week," said Green.

He pointed out that clients from Mercer County will have to travel to Monmouth in some instances to visit with a caseworker, but many transactions with DHS can take place by phone.