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Commission OKs revised CKCC budget
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 In April, the Barton County Commission OKed the 2016 Central Kansas Community Corrections Comprehensive Plan request totaling $468,482. This basically amounts to the CKCC’s budget, but the funds come from the state and require county approval.

However, CKCC Director Amy Boxberger was back Monday morning with a revised budget. “The amount they awarded was slightly different,” she said, adding this required another nod from the commission.

The new figure was $475,902. This pays for CKCC’s expenses and efforts to supervise offenders sentenced to community corrections who otherwise would be jailed.

The Kansas Department of Corrections, which funds CKCC, requires the annual submission of a plan, which is essentially the agency’s grant application for state money. The plan requires approval from the Barton County Commission since Barton County is the administrative county for the 20th Judicial District, CKCC Director Amy Boxberger said.

The district encompasses Barton, Ellsworth, Rice, Russell and Stafford counties.

Boxberger said the KDC uses a complex formula to calculate how much funding agencies get. It factors in such things as average daily population of the program and success rates.

“Our program is to keep people out of prison,” Boxberger said. Of the 110 offenders in community corrections in 2014, 78 percent stayed out of jail, while 22 percent were eventually taken into custody, which is on target with state expectations.

And, its cost effective, she said. According to the KDOC annual report, it costs $6.61 per day per individual in the CKCC program, but it costs $69.85 daily to house them in jail or prison. 

In a related matter, the commission approved CKCC’s acceptance of $5,000 for behavioral health vouchers for indigent offenders from the KDC. While welcome, Boxberger said her department was awarded $18,000 last year. CKCC can pull from carry-over funds to fill in if needed.

The Kansas Department of Corrections provided an opportunity for agencies to apply for behavioral health funding to support services relative to lowering revocation rates and CKCC submitted a grant application, Boxberger said. In other words, the vouchers will help cover the cost of treatment for those who cannot afford it in order to help keep them from returning to jail. 

In other business, the commission:

• Heard about the Step Right Up Immunization Carnival. Barton County Health Director Shelly Schneider said the United States is currently experiencing a decrease in immunization rates, the impact of this being felt recently by the pertussis outbreak. As a means of improving community involvement, the Barton County Health Department is holding a Step Right Up Immunization Carnival from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Thursday, July 30. 

• Approved paying $18,788.19 for engineering fees as part of Barton County’s agreement with the Kansas Department of Transportation for the next High Risk Rural Roads Sign Replacement Project. Prior to that time, “letters of interest” for project design were sent to six engineering companies for upgrading current regulatory and warning signs, as per KDOT requirements. The Selection Committee recommended Kirkham-Michael Engineers of Ellsworth be selected for the project. KDOT will reimburse thecounty 100 percent of the cost, said County Engineer Clark Rusco.

• Heard a departmental update from County Administrator Richard Boeckman.