Maine Child Development Services will close its Waldo County office at the end of the month as part of a statewide consolidation of the agency’s administrative functions. The Belfast office is one of two slated for closure with four others to be converted to satellite offices.

Maine CDS is a quasi-independent agency that receives administrative support and funding from the state, through the Department of Education. There are sixteen offices statewide — one per county — offering a long list of services to children under five years old.

“Speech therapy, specialized instruction, ed techs, transportation, behavioral consulting, evaluations, speech occupational therapy, physical therapy, anything that’s considered special education, that’s what we provide,” said Dewey Meteer, site director of the Waldo and Hancock County offices. Most of these are contracted out through local educational and medical service providers, he said.

Meteer said CDS works with 160 children in Waldo County. Of these cases, he said one-third will be transferred to the CDS office in Waterville. The rest — with the exception of three in Prospect, which will be transferred to the Bangor office — will be handled out of the CDS office in Rockland.

Of the eight staff members at the Belfast office, Meteer said, seven will be transferred to the Rockland office where they will continue to work with children and contracted service providers in Waldo County. Meteer said he will lose his job at the end of the month — the sole layoff in the consolidation. CDS is currently sending out letters to families and care providers to notify them of the change, he said.

Meteer said the hope is to be able to provide the same services at less expense, but he said the transition may be bumpy. “Will people have to travel further because there’s no case manager? We’ll have to wait and see,” he said.

Meteer said offices in Belfast and Brunswick are slated for closure, while four others — in Ellsworth, Augusta, Farmington and Damariscotta — will be converted to satellite offices.

Maine Department of Education spokesman David Connerty-Marin said the decision to close the Belfast office was similar to other belt-tightening decisions that have recently been made at the state level.

“We’d been looking at streamlining operations, and we had asked the school districts to consolidate and reorganize,” he said. “Looking at our own programs, we saw the opportunity to do the same.”

Asked how the decision was made, Meteer chalked the CDS consolidation up as a casualty of the larger budget process. “[Legislators] were aware of it, but in the context of everything else, [the CDS consolidation] didn’t get much attention,” he said.