The Summit County Fiscal Office wants to expand its veteran identification card service by taking it out in the field.
To clear the way, county council is being asked to pass legislation that will allow the fiscal office to waive the required $1 fee for the ID card at some of the special community events for homeless and jobless veterans who may not be able to afford the expense.
The county veteran ID card program was started by Kristen Scalise this year.
The program was introduced in the General Assembly two years ago, but never adopted by the state.
Stark County started the program on a local level by Stark County Recorder Rick Campbell, a former veteran. Scalise looked into the program, liked it and started one for Summit County.
The county issues wallet-size ID cards for veterans after they file a copy of their military discharge papers or DD214s. The veteran must provide two pieces of identification; one must be a picture ID. There is no cost to file the papers with the county, but a $1 fee is charged to help defray the cost of the photo ID cards.
The department plans to go out into the community to help register veterans for the ID cards as part of its outreach program. The target date is near Veterans Day in November.
“We have had a number of veterans call and say they aren’t able to get into our building here on South Main Street,” said Jack LaMonica, of the fiscal office. “We plan to go to several retirement communities and we’re working with Larry Moore of the Veterans Commission of Summit County to set up dates and times at the new veterans building on West Waterloo Road.”
The outreach program will begin in November, but the dates have not been confirmed yet.
“We are still working out the kinks with our portable unit,” LaMonica said. “We still have to be able to link to the office to file the veteran’s discharge papers so they are on file here.”
He said the county program has been successful. Veterans say the cards are more convenient to carry instead of the bulky paper forms and easier to show proof of service for special discounts offered by some retailers to veterans.
So far more than 2,100 veterans have received the veteran ID cards through the Summit County Fiscal Office.
Anyone who would like to get a veteran’s ID card can go to the Ohio Building at 175 S. Main St., Room 411. If you live in a county that does not offer this service, you are eligible to register in Summit County for the card.
Hours at the Summit County Fiscal Office are 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays.
For more information call, 330-643-2715 or 1-888-388-5613.
Marilyn Miller can be reached at 330-996-3098 or email@example.com.