Offender program use increases
Leavenworth County is experiencing an increase in use of programs designed to keep adult offenders out of jail.
Community Corrections Director Mikel Lovin told county commissioners on Thursday the average daily population for adults in his program, which is the last stop before incarceration, is up by more than 10 offenders since the end of the fiscal year in June.
"That's significant," said Lovin, noting the current average is 88.4 offenders. "At the end of last year it was 76, and that's what our budget is based on."
Lovin said the majority of cases in the past quarter have been "low-level, first time narcotics possession charges."
On the juvenile side, the average daily population remained steady at 124 offenders from the end of fiscal year 2007 to present.
Commissioner Clyde Graeber expressed dissatisfaction with budgetary shortfalls and pointed to the method in which the state funds different judicial districts as the culprit.
"I think it's fascinating that we keep having increases, and they (the state) keep decreasing our funding," he said.
In other business Thurs-day, commissioners:
- Voted, 3-0, to promote Public Works deputy director Mike Spickelmier to department director at current director Bill Green's salary of $81,549. Green, who is retiring, said he expects to vacate his post in mid-December.
- Heard a monthly report from Public Works officials.
Commissioners questioned whether it was the responsibility of the county or of various townships to maintain overgrown rural cemeteries.
"I'm not in favor of using noxious weed chemicals to spray any cemeteries," Commissioner Dean Oroke said, pointing to liability issues. "There are other ways."
Commissioners also considered approving the installation of a field road near 223rd Street and Ehart Drive in northwest Leavenworth County.
The road would allow at least one resident to access her home in the event of a Stranger Creek flood.
County Counselor David Van Parys said that with the rugged terrain at the location, a road would be difficult, but the county could add a low maintenance or field road.
- Unanimously approved three special use permits: for a quilt shop at 15372 Meyer Rd.; for a two-lot subdivision south of the intersection of 174th Street and Loring Road; and for a construction and demolition landfill and rock quarry south of Kansas Highway 192 on 227th Street.
- Approved, 3-0, purchase of digital voice recorders for local dispatch from Springfield, Ill.-based Nelson Systems Inc. for $54,422.
- Met in executive session with Spickelmier and Green for 10 minutes to discuss personnel.
- Met in executive session with Van Parys for 25 minutes to discuss pending litigation.
In business Monday, the board:
- Canvassed votes from the Basehor-Linwood school bond issue. Commissioners, sitting as the Board of Canvassers, accepted 40 of 47 provisional ballots in the mail-in election, which ended Thursday. Of those, 28 were for the bond issue and 12 were against.
Those votes put the final tally at 2,209 for the bond issue vs. 2,180 against.
Approval of the bond issue allows the district to construct a new third- through fifth-grade elementary school, costing $11.45 million; a new sixth- through eighth-grade middle school, at $24.8 million; six additional classrooms and renovations at Glenwood Ridge Elementary School, $2.5 million; renovations at Linwood Elementary, $750,000; and a new soccer field, $400,000.
- Heard a quarterly report from Leavenworth County Development Corp. representatives.Steve Jack, LCDC executive director, told commissioners there were 11 potential business leads in the third quarter, bringing the year-to-date total to 35.
- Approved the preliminary and final plat for Clark's Willow Lake Subdivision at 20375 Easton Rd.
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