Benzie County hires veterans’ affairs director

 

BENZIE COUNTY — Benzie County will be expanding services for veterans at its office in the Benzie County Government Center with the addition of a veteran affairs director.

The Benzie County Board of Commissioners voted to approve of a contract with Karen Korolenko to act as the Benzie County Veteran Affairs Director. Korolenko is currently the veterans’ affairs coordinator for Manistee County.

Services performed by Korolenko include expanding the Benzie County Office of Veterans’ affairs to 12-15 hours a week and reaching out to county veterans and educating them on the services and benefits for which they are eligible.  Korolenko will be paid $22.75 per hour and will work up to 20 hours per week. She will not receive any benefits.

Currently, the county has a contract with the Grand Traverse Office of Veterans’ Affairs for six hours of office availability. The contract expires on Dec. 31, so there will be an overlap of services. There is no plan to renew the contract.

“This came from the veterans affairs committee, but it was not totally out of the blue,” Deisch said. “We’ve been having these conversations internally between the office of veterans’ affairs and the and board of commissioners. The current contract with Grand Traverse ends at the end of the calendar year. The real impetus is to work with the veterans’ affairs committee to enhance services to Benzie County veterans to ensure all of our veterans are aware and educated about the benefits they are eligible to receive. We want to enhance veteran’s services for all vets in Benzie County.”

The Benzie County Veterans’ Affairs Committee voted unanimously to recommend hiring Korolenko to the board of commissioners.

According to the 2010 census, veterans make up close to 10 percent of the Benzie County population.

 

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