Community Services

Timothy Ruetten, Director
175 Arsenal Street
Watertown, New York 13601
Phone: (315)  785-3283
Fax: (315)  785-5182
Office Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday - Friday
Office Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. July and August


  • To determine the needs of people with mental illness, chemical dependency, or developmental disabilities who live in Jefferson County.
  • To develop the program of local mental hygiene services for the county.
  • To direct and administer the development of a local annual comprehensive plan for all services for mentally disabled residents of the county which shall be submitted to the department and used in part to formulate a statewide comprehensive plan for services.
  • To ensure that there is coordination, cooperation, and integration among local providers of mental hygiene services.
  • To provide fiscal oversight of the state and local monies used in the provision of mental hygiene services.
  • To oversee the preschool program for children with disabilities for Jefferson County.
  • To administer the Early Intervention program for infants and toddlers with disabilities or delays for Jefferson County.

Types of Services, Assistance

  • Annual local governmental plan: Each year a plan is developed for the three service areas of mental health, developmental disabilities, and alcohol and substance abuse.
  • Budget approval: The Community Services Board approves all mental hygiene agency budgets annually.
  • Funding: As determined by the local comprehensive plan, the office distributes county and state monies to local agencies for the reimbursement of costs of providing services to their constituents.
  • Statistical reporting: An annual report is prepared each year providing information on the number of people served and expenditures.
  • Oversight: The office addresses complaints and handles disputes brought to its attention.
  • Coordination: The office coordinates services with and among agencies locally and statewide to attain efficiency and accountability.
  • Preschool program for children with disabilities: The county contracts for transportation and preschool services. The office participates in the Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) meetings and maintains lists of itinerant service providers.
  • Early Intervention: The office provides initial service coordination to all families seeking information or services for infants and toddlers suspected of having a disability or delay. Additionally, the office provides ongoing service coordination when chosen by families and contracts with a number of providers who provide assessment, evaluation and early intervention services.

Jefferson County Resource Guide