Bourbon County Commissioners put the stamp of approval on the purchase of 4 SUVs and 2 pickup trucks for the Bourbon County Sheriff’s Department at today’s meeting. Commission Chairman Allen Warren moved to accept the low bid for financing from City State Bank at an interest rate of 2.35% over a 5-year period. Undersheriff Bill Martin said that it would take approximately 6-8 weeks to receive the vehicles from Shepherd Team Auto Plaza. “It can be longer than that,” Martin explained. Martin said that other agencies would be submitting their requests, which would slow down the process.
Warren suggested that the department apply the $11,000 from insurance on hail damaged patrol cars to the current loan amount. “If you could lower that $186,000 by $11,000, that would help you out on your payments,” Warren said. Warren recommended that Martin request “new numbers” from the bank for budget purposes.
As far as the old, wrecked patrol cars are concerned, Martin said that he had contacted the adjustor, who in turn would contact someone to haul off the old vehicles. According to Martin, the department had $2,700 budgeted for July, August, September and October of 2013 that would not be used to pay for the old patrol cars, which were paid off June 30th. This money, according to County Attorney Terri Johnson, will be returned to the County General Fund.
The meeting also revealed positive results concerning efforts to reduce overcrowding in the Southeast Kansas Regional Correctional Center. Bobby Reed presented new data from that morning, which revealed that out-of-county inmate housing had been reduced. “As of this morning,” Reed said the jail had “46 inmates in house, and 11 housed out,” and “The numbers are down.” Reed explained that the reduction in numbers was due to efforts by Johnson, the courts and employees at the SEKRCC.
Reed has also managed to cut some of the overtime costs discussed in recent meetings. The jail will implement 8-hour shifts starting August 23rd, which will eliminate built-in overtime. Reed explained that a total of 4 employees had quite following the announcement of the switch to 8-hour shifts, and that he had recently hired two new employees. Because of the turnover, Martin requested that the county run a classified ad in the Tribune and other local papers in order to hire two more new employees to return the jail to full staff.
In other business:
- Assistant County Attorney Valorie LeBlanc brought a letter from the Family Peace Initiative organization. The organization received $12,500 from the county in the past year for court-ordered counseling services. For the upcoming year, commissioners opted to reduce this year’s contribution from $12,500 to $3,000. The service, according to LeBlanc, is intended to be funded by more than one county in the area, though the organization received county funding from just Bourbon County in the past year.
- Dwayne Neil stopped by the meeting to ask for an extension on baling hay at Elm Creek. “I want to get it baled as fast as I can get it baled,” Neil said. Neil cited recent rains as the delay in his work. As far as a new deadline, Warren said, “It’s hard to put a date on it, and “Just get it off there as soon as you can.” Neil also brought positive news to the meeting. Neil mentioned that Bourbon County’s flood control dams are working hard to hold flood water back. “It’s saving you a lot of road damage,” Neil said.
- Greg Stine of Reformer’s Unanimous came to the meeting to present the Reformer’s Institutional Program. Stine said that his organization had been working with Sheriff Gray and Undersheriff Martin since mid-April to provide addiction counseling for inmates. The program gives the student “the tools to work with to know where to start, what to do,” Stine said. Stine explained that the curriculum involves work in small groups, and that after each meeting the student is given a challenge for that week. The faith-based program has been endorsed by several different dignitaries, including the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Dept. Lt. Bernard Salandy. Salandy called the program “a huge success” and that he had “never seen a program transform a facility the way R.U. did.” Salandy said that former repeat offenders had returned to being productive members of society as a result of the program. Lawrence J. Morrissey, Mayor of Rockford Illinois, also endorsed the efforts of the faith-based Reformers Unanimous.