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Doing more with less
Community Corrections budget OKed by commission
community corrections pic
The Barton County Commission Monday morning approved a revised budget for Central Kansas Community Corrections.

County to observe Labor Day

County business offices will be closed in observance of Labor Day Monday, Sept. 2. The Health Department, the Records Division of the Sheriff’s Office and the Landfill will also be closed. Emergency services will be in normal operation. 

Also, the next regular meeting of the County Commission will be at 9 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 3, at the Barton County Courthouse, 1400 Main in Great Bend. 

When it comes to Central Kansas Community Corrections’s budget and carry-over funds, it’s a matter of getting by with dwindling state support despite an increasing demand its services, Director Amy Boxberger told the Barton County Commission Monday morning. But, they are getting by.

“What choice do we have,” Boxberger said. As they juggle limited funding, they are eyeing other grant opportunities and eye possibly better times to come.

“Amy, I don’t know how you keep doing more with less,” commission Chairwoman Jennifer Schartz said of the continually shrinking state funding. “I know the needs of the community are growing every day.” 

She wishes the state understood that by helping with the interventions CKCC offers, more offenders would be kept out of jails. This would actually save the state money in the long run.

The discussion came as commissioners approved CKCC’s revised budget for behavioral health funding. 

Less than planned

The Kansas Department of Correction provided the opportunity for agencies to apply for behavioral health funding to support services to lower revocation rates, Boxberger said. 

But, “last year, we submitted a grant application in the amount of $29,667.30, and we received word that our allocation was $22,746.85,” she said. “So, we re required to submit a revised budget to reflect those changes.”

Money funds behavioral health planning and vouchers for the indigent offenders that they serve. 

This covers mental health, substance abuse, and helps sex offenders and batterers’ intervention. Also, a limited amount of money goes to the Oxford houses, which serve as half-way houses for substance abusers.

The revision, which must be submitted to the KDOC, reflects changes in programming for behavioral health planning and vouchers for indigent offenders, Boxberger said.   

Last year, the agency spent $23,170.87, and of that $14,000 was spent helping offenders get into Oxford houses. “I think this was really helpful in growing recovery in our community,” she said. 

“This year, we are really going to be pushing for behavioral health services. They have also entered into an agreement with The Center for Counseling and Consultation.

Carry-over funds

“Every year, we are required to submit a plan (to the KDOC) of how we will spend money we received from our offenders,” she said. “Some of that money carries over from year to year.”

Last year, they collected just under $20,000 in offender fees. They also had a positive balance of just over $50,000.

The carry-over is $69,972.28. “The current shortfall in our Department of Corrections grant is requiring that we really utilize a lot of this money for our operating expenses this year,” she said.

Last year, they had the funds for equipment, specialized training. But, for 2019, they are tapping it for necessary supplies, cell and land-line phones, internet, printing, fuel, travel, required training and drug testing. 

Barton County Commission meeting at a glance

Here is a quick look at what the Barton County Commission did Monday morning:

• Approved the purchase of desktop computers. Extended support for Microsoft Windows 7 ends January, 2020. So, the county issued a Request for Proposal for the purchase of 14 desktop computers. 

After reviewing bids, the Information Technology Department recommended that the CDI Technologies bid of $12,456.50 be accepted, said Dereck Hollingshead, network administrator/information technology service technician. These are the last computers that need to be replaced and upgraded.

He said they received eight bids. There were local bidders, but they were 25% higher than the low bid.

• Reappointed Stan Jantz to the Memorial Parks Advisory Committee. The Memorial Parks Advisory Committee is charged with advising and assisting the Commission regarding the care and maintenance of the Barton County Owned and Operated Memorial Parks and Cemetery.  With not less than five, nor more than seven members, there was one position open, terming in July, 2023. • Approved Emergency Risk Management’s Fiscal Year 2019 Emergency Management Performance Grant Program application. 

• Approved Central Kansas Community Corrections’s Revised Budget for Behavioral Health Funding. Also approved was CKCC’s carry-over budget.

• Approved Juvenile Services’ Fiscal Year 2020 carry-over budget. 

• Approved a proposal from C&K Construction for $15,799 for Americans with Disabilities Act improvements to the Health Department.