Pauls Valley Center Helping Developmentally Disabled Faces Closure
By Gan Matthews, NEWS 9
PAULS VALLEY, Oklahoma -- The Southern Oklahoma Resource Center in Pauls Valley assists clients who are developmentally disabled. In a season of severe budget cuts, SORC survived a legislative attempt to shut it down. But problems remain with two housing units that could threaten closure.
The Junior and Turner units are at least half a century old, and they both have serious safety problems.
"The safety concerns have primarily to do with fire and smoke," said DHS Division Director James Nicholson.
Renovations at Junior are manageable, but those at Turner could prove costly, up to $85,000. Failure to address the problems could mean a loss of federal funding and threaten the future of an important element of Pauls Valley's economy.
"It's our second largest employer in this area," said City Manager James Frizell. "And it would certainly be an economic blow to us to lose the facility."
Families of clients worry the most about the center closing. DHS said it worries too.
"We are really out to save the facility, not to close the facility, and protecting the federal funding is a key element to that," Nicholson said.
The SORC does have about $280,000 in oil revenue from wells drilled on the site, and DHS may use that money to pay for repairs.