(KMOV.com) – News 4 has learned officials are sitting on a $81 million fund meant to help children in St. Louis County.
The St. Louis County Children’s Services fund is currently sitting the money because its interim director said it has taken other agencies many years to prepare for how they will spend it. The fund was created in 2010 and is funded through a sales tax. Since its creation, it has given local agencies $120 million for drug treatment and counseling services, but the fund has never published a detailed report with how that money has been specifically spent.
St. Louis County Councilman Greg Quinn told News 4 the fund has been plagued by mismanagement.
“I think the reason there has not been a report to the community is what are they going to report?” Quinn said. “They will report that there have been abuses in the fund that there has been mismanagement that the funds have been misspent on the employees of the children service fund.”
The fund’s interim director Julie Leitch provided News 4 with records that indicated the fund is paying for expenses in every St. Louis County school district. Privately, many agencies told News 4 both the fund and several school districts have not done enough to identify and provide services for children.
Leitch told News 4 she believes many districts are reluctant to tell the fund they need the money. She also said the fund now has tighter control over its money than it had before.
“This is an exciting time for the fund, I feel like we’re just scratching the surface,” Leitch said.
News 4 has learned the fund plans to publish a report later this year. For more information on the fund, click here.