Juvenile Justice Services Administrator Ann Carpenter met with the Butler County Board of Commissioners at the meeting on Tuesday, August 15 and brought a letter of agreement between Butler and Sedgwick Counties to the board for approval.
In a regional effort to address gaps in services, Carpenter recommended that Butler County, acting as the administrative county for Judicial District 13 (Butler, Elk and Greenwood Counties), collaborate with Sedgwick County Juvenile Services to develop and implement effective, evidence-based programming in a Juvenile Services Center model. This agreement would address risk for juveniles of both pre-adjudication and post-adjudication status. It would allow district 13 youth to utilize services offered by Sedgwick County and support a collaborative grant between Butler County and Sedgwick County for serving juvenile offenders.
Some goals of the agreement are: the reduction of the use of secure detention, addressing criminogenic factors and continuing to keep the community safe. The board of commissioners approved the letter of agreement.
Directly afterward, Carpenter requested the commissioners review and approve a local grant application in the amount of $95,677.97. The grant money is supplied by the Kansas Department of Corrections Juvenile Services (KDOC-JS), which has released funds for local districts to support juvenile offenders in receiving evidence-based programming.
KDOC-JS actually released two grant requests for proposals (RFPs). One is for the regional collaborative grant, focused on providing evidence-based programs in a regional setting. The maximum amount available for this grant by application is $250,000, and Sedgwick County is applying for the grant in cooperation with the 19th, 13th and ninth judicial districts and Sumner County.
Individually, none of the participating districts can afford to develop programs that fit the required criteria and have fidelity to the program guidelines – such as number of youth, age and gender. By working cooperatively with the other districts and bringing clients together, Butler County and the rest of district 13 can better provide those services. The array of available programs can be increased to better suit the needs of the youth, and the services provided can be done so in a more efficient model. The regional collaborative grant will pay for services and programming in the multiple-district partnership.
Carpenter informed the board of commissioners that district 13 plans to apply for the $95,677.97 local grant at the same time to pay for the associated costs of transporting youthful offenders to and from the programs in Sedgwick County. Specifically, the local grant will be used to hire transport staff and pay the maintenance expenses on existing vehicles. Carpenter said that district 13 hopes to hire two part-time staff with rotating shifts to fill those roles. Additionally, approximately $39,000 of the grant will be used for various local services such as substance abuse treatment, mental health evaluations and treatment, academic and vocational services and electronic monitoring. About $2,000 will be set aside for general needs such as food, clothing and utility assistance. The board of commissioners approved the SFY2018 Reinvestment Grant application.
Later in the meeting, Public Works Director and County Engineer Darryl Lutz requested approval for the estimated costs of a county-constructed recycled asphalt pavement (RAP) hot-mix overlay project proposed for 12th St., east of El Dorado, from the railroad overpass to the Walnut River Bridge. He recommended performing the work using county staff at a price not to exceed $75,000, which would be paid out of Butler County's road and bridge fund. The price would cover renting the lay-down and compaction equipment from APAC Construction of Augusta, contracting with Dustrol, Inc. of Towanda to mill the road surface and purchasing the hot mix asphalt material. That section of 12th St., which is about 0.7 miles, was proposed for patching and chip seal this year. Lutz believes that, due to the higher traffic volume and the deteriorating condition of the pavement, a 2-inch overlay to improve the structural condition of the road would be justified. Ten percent of the material involved in the project would be RAP owned by the county. The board of commissioners approved the estimated costs. The City of El Dorado will be milling and overlaying their portion of 12th St. this summer.
Lutz also updated the commissioners on the status of the project involving use of a lay-down machine to do a cold-mix overlay on Northwest Meadowlark Road in Whitewater, north of KS-196. At the county commission meeting on June 6, the board had authorized the department of public works to contract with APAC for an estimated 10-day rental of a lay-down machine, plus crew and mobilization, in a total amount of $18,100.
"We did start a project, and we were having some troubles with our cold mix [asphalt]. It wasn't laying right. We tried to rectify it .... We've got it worked out, but we're getting too late in the season to do anything with it. So we did some finish touch-up work – blade-laying cold mix – for now, and I think we're going to regroup and reattempt again, perhaps on a different road, next year or into the future. But we've stopped that project. We were having a real tough time with our cold mix," Lutz said.
Lutz confirmed that Northwest Meadowlark Road has recently been chip-sealed.
"We've finished our cold mix, just laying it with a blade, and chip-sealed the road .... And that should pretty well wrap up our chip seal for the season," he said.
At another point in the meeting, the board of commissioners presented Child Care Surveyor Amy Foes with a Spotlight Award. In April of this year, the Butler County Health Department's insurance biller position became vacant. Amy Foes was the former biller, and she took it upon herself to organize the biller's office and files. While cleaning up, Foes found multiple claims that had never been billed or needed to be corrected or resubmitted. She spent four weeks submitting all the Medicare claims. Since she stepped up, the health department has received over $7,500 in insurance payments. If she had not taken on this responsibility, the filing deadlines would have passed on some of the outstanding claims, and the health department would have lost thousands in insurance reimbursements. Foes is currently training the new billing clerk. While taking on the billing responsibility, Foes never let her child care inspection duties get behind. She acknowledged that Grant Coordinator Trish Wilhite also helped out tremendously.
"I just think this is a beautiful example of, you know, someone going above and beyond. And knowing somewhat about the tedium and pain of insurance paperwork, you know, I think it's just amazing. And thank you so much," Commissioner Ed Myers said.
Foes was given a $20 gift card along with her award certificate.