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Detention Center presents 28E membership proposal to County

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Buena Vista County Board of Supervisors met with Tony Reed, Executive Director with the Central Iowa Juvenile Detention Center, Tuesday. Reed proposed a 28E agreement membership proposal for BV County.

Central Iowa Juvenile Detention is located in Eldora., an organization that is currently comprised of 16 member counties across Iowa. Reed says the County averages about 1,213 bed days in a youth detention center each year.

He says the county would save about $85,000 a year by joining CIJDC.

Reed says he feels the detention center can provide the highest quality detention services for the best rate in Iowa. Currently the County sends youth to Northwest Iowa Detention "YES Center" in Cherokee. Reed said CIJDC opened a new state of the art 21,000 square foot facility in March 2008.

If the County joins, Reed says they would give the County 60 days of free service. CIJDC currently charge a daily rate of $80/day. The YES Center in Cherokee currently charges $150 a day.

Reed says the 30 bed facility typically fills about 12 beds. "It creates a lot of empty space," Reed said. According to a proposal the facility has one of the lowest bed day rates in the state. He said the empty beds is one reason they are opening memberships invitations to some select counties. The facility originally opened in 1994 and was solely a juvenile detention center and at that time charged $140 a day. Reed said because of diversification and efficiency they have been able to drop the daily rate by about half.

The Board took no action on the issue and said they'd like to look over a packet of information Reed presented, somewhat hesitant at joining until they had dug a little deeper to see if the numbers add up. "Normally I wouldn't question it but $85,000 is a pretty good chunk," said Supervisor Paul Merten.

Reed says now they also provide transportation to and from the detention center as well as trips out of state if needed, drug and alcohol testing, on site schooling, family team meetings, fiscal services and tracking receiving some reimbursement from the State of Iowa. Currently the BV County's Sheriff Office provides transportation youth to and from the YES Center.

Reed said that despite some rumors going around that CIJDC would increase their rate after BV County joins, he says that the rate is not just an introductory rate. "We currently don't have any financial problems, business is good. We're trying to make good better," he says.

In other County news, Environmental Health Director Kim Johnson reported that she was continuing to receive sanitary sewer project questionnaires back. The County also invited residents who had expressed an interest in serving as a trustee for a potential sanitary sewer district to a meeting Wednesday. Johnson reported that they had close to 50 people express an interest in possibly volunteering as trustees.



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