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Cost for juvenile detention doubles

Commission negotiating
to purchase land
east of courthouse

Staff writer

Marion County’s cost to house juvenile offenders for 2011 will be more than double what was budgeted, County Attorney Susan Robson said Monday during a meeting with county commission.

Based on previous experience, the county budgeted $20,000 — the same as in 2010 — to send juvenile offenders to North Central Kansas Regional Juvenile Detention Center in Junction City. But after the deadline to opt out of a contract with the center was passed, the center informed the county that its share of the cost would be $48,000.

Marion County used 45 days at the detention center in 2010. If use remains level in 2011 at the cost of $48,000, that would be more than $1,000 per day per juvenile. The detention center budgeted about 350 days for the county. That amount is based on a higher level of use before 2010, but also includes offenders under the custody of the Kansas Juvenile Justice Authority who were originally sent by Marion County, Robson said. Effectively, the detention center is paid twice for juveniles in the custody of the Juvenile Justice Authority.

“It’s a slick deal,” she said.

Dickinson and Morris counties’ costs also went up substantially. Dickinson County has already decided to opt out for 2012, Robson said.

Most of the county’s use of the detention center was for brief stays — one to three days — she said.

Commissioner Dan Holub asked whether the county could feasibly include a short-term detention center if a new jail was built. Such a center would have to keep juveniles separate from adults.

The commission requested Robson draft a letter to the detention center expressing their displeasure at the surprise increase. They also requested she check for alternatives to the detention center. There are juvenile detention centers in Salina and Hutchinson.

County may buy land east of courthouse

Commissioner Randy Dallke announced the commission is in negotiations with four landowners to purchase land east of the courthouse. Three buildings on the properties are vacant; a family is renting the fourth.

He said the commission hopes to agree to terms to buy the properties no later than Feb. 22. The commission has no plans set for the use of the properties. The county could use them for parking space and build more on the courthouse square or keep parking on the courthouse square and build on those lots.

Holub said the fact that most of the buildings are unoccupied made the thought of purchasing them much more palatable to him.

Robson met with the commission in closed session for five minutes to discuss land acquisition before the announcement.

In other business:

  • The county will prepare paperwork to accept a $2 million loan from Kansas Department of Transportation to put a 6-inch asphalt overlay on 330th Road between K-15 and Tampa. The loan would have a 10-year payoff. Dallke said he wanted to make sure the project lasts longer than the loan.
  • Cooperative Grain and Supply of Hillsboro will supply 3,600 gallons of off-road diesel to the Road and Bridge Department for $10,762. Cardie Oil Company of Tampa will supply 2,950 gallons for $8,800.
  • Road and Bridge Department will purchase a laptop computer from Great Plains Computers and Networking of Marion for $1,601 to diagnose problems with equipment. CDW-G bid $4,582.
  • Appraiser’s Department Office Assistant Dawn Ruhl was hired at a salary of $1,773 per month.
  • Appraiser’s Department Data Collector Nicole Reid was hired at a salary of $1,576 per month.
  • Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigator Wilma Mueller was hired at a wage of $16.58 per hour.
  • Communications Dispatcher Alicia Stone was hired at a wage of $11 per hour.
  • Sales tax receipts for November were $53,286, an increase of 22.5 percent from November 2009.
  • Commissioners met in closed session for 10 minutes to review applications for the emergency management director position. No action was taken on return to open session.
  • Rod’s Tire and Service of Hillsboro will sell eight Firestone 663 tires to the transfer station for $2,016 to replace tires on the semi tractor that hauls solid waste to Butler County Landfill. Cardie Oil Company of Tampa bid $2,654 for eight Wanlie S3010 tires. The tires that came with the semi tractor lasted about two years and 80,000 miles, Transfer Station Director Rollin Schmidt said.
  • Schmidt met with the commission in closed session for 10 minutes to discuss personnel. No action was taken on return to open session.

The next commission meeting will be Monday.

Last modified Feb. 3, 2011

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