By Thomas Garcia
QCS Senior Writer
An increase to the Quay County’s budget for housing juveniles may be necessary if detention trends stay the same as those seen in June, said County Manager Richard Primrose, during discussion of the issue Tuesday with county commissioners.
In the month of June the county spent $18,332 housing juvenile inmates out of county. He said in the 2017 budget, only $27,000 was set aside for housing juveniles. This occurred at the end of the 2016 fiscal year and did not have an impact on current budget funds, Primrose said.
The county spent $48,340 on housing 12 juveniles out of the county, said Commission Chair Franklin McCasland.
McCasland said there is a concern about the funds budgeted four housing juveniles should the county follow the previous year’s trend.
Primrose said while the amount spent seems like a lot, it is still cheaper than operating and upkeep of the county’s juvenile detention center, which was closed in 2014 because of the high cost of operation. “There has to be a separate shift of detention center staff to operate the juvenile center and they can not be housed in the same facility as adults,” Primrose added.
Quay County Detention Center Administrator T.J. Rich said there was an issue of employing enough staff to staff the adult and juvenile centers while not affecting safety.
Rich said two of the recent juvenile inmates had been on the run and as a result they are required to be held until their next trial. He said the extended stay in the facilities attributed to the greater cost.
Rich said option such as the ankle monitoring program for both juveniles and adults is used to try and reduce cost. He said in 2016, the county placed 15 juveniles on ankle monitors at a cost of $1,152; the cost of housing them would have been $60,625.
In other business, commissioners:
• Heard a presentation of the fiscal year 2015-2016 and fourth quarter report by DWI Compliance Coordinator Bryan Rinestine.
• Received the treasurer’s report by Quay County Treasurer Patsy Gresham.
• Approved adjustments to the 2016 fiscal year budget to show increased expenditures and additional funds.
• Held an executive session for threatening or pending litigation. Commissioners took no action.