Wednesday, April 16 2014 10:54 PM EDT2014-04-17 02:54:16 GMT
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Louisville, Ky (WDRB) -- Louisville's community mental health center has filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection because they say their services are being threatened by state pension demands.
Seven Counties Services needs help from the courts and if they don't find the relief they need, they say it's only a matter of time before they are forced to close.
For thirty-five years, Seven Counties has provided behavioral health and developmental services to more than 32,000 people annually.
It's facing a sudden increase in annual state retirement contributions.
"Senate Bill 2 which was just passed in pension reform has in it an assumption that starting July 1st, 2014 (15 months from now) that we will start paying more than 40 percent of wage equivalent for pension contribution and there's just not a health care company in the country that could survive doing that," said Tony Zipple, Seven Counties Services, Inc. President.
That means unless the courts can provide relief, Seven Counties will eventually have to close.
"It strips Seven Counties of increasing ability to do what we're here to do which is deliver services. More and more of our resources are eaten up with pension and that leaves less and less to actually serve the people who depend on us every year for services," Zipple said.
"Seven Counties Services is crucial to this community," said David Holton, Chairman of the Board of Seven Counties Services, Inc.
Holton says it's imperative they continue operating for the clients that depend on them and for the employees dedicated to helping those clients.
"We improve lives. We make the difference in the quality of life for so many," said Holton.
The agency helps people with mental health and addiction problems in Bullitt, Henry, Jefferson, Oldham, Shelby, Spencer and Trimble counties.
"We're really a critical safety net service for this community and there are a lot of people who depend on us for services and people who really don't have many other resources or options," said Zipple.
For the time being, they say no services will be cut and no employees will be let go.
"I believe in this action and we're going to come through. We're not huddled in the corner. We're out front telling people we're in business. We are continuing to provide the services that they need from us and we're going to do everything we can to survive," said Holton.
Seven Counties says they'll continue providing their services as long as they have the means to do so.
"We may go down in the fight but we won't go down without a fight," said Holton.