Juveniles in Clay County have a bed ready for them in the event they need to be detained for an extended period of time.
During Monday's meeting of the Clay County Commissioners, Juvenile Probation Officer Cathy Judd presented a contract proposal with the Muncie Reception and Diagnostic Center.
"Last year, the county paid $165 per day to house juveniles," Judd said. "Right now, without a contract, it would cost $129 a day, but with a contract in place, it is $89 per day."
Judd explained there is currently about $94,000 remaining in the fund for housing juveniles in detention centers, but the contract is for $55,000, which would hold beds at the Muncie facility for a total of 618 days.
"That amount is more than the number of days we accumulated last year, and whatever is left at the end of this year will roll over," she said.
One of the advantages of the Muncie facility over the one in Vincennes, according to Judd, is the system.
"Muncie is very strict and regimented, which while it is not ideal for everyone in our system, is the best thing for a lot of the juveniles we see," Judd said. "More often than not, the juveniles we sent to Muncie tend not to be repeat offenders."
She added the contract would provide multiple benefits to the county.
"I think this is a great opportunity to not only save the county quite a bit of money, but also ensure we have beds available for juveniles who need to be detained," she said.
The commissioners agreed with Judd and approved the proposed contract unanimously.
Meanwhile, not-for-profit organizations anticipating funding from the county this year will have to wait a little longer.
Clay County Auditor Mary Jo Alumbaugh said the Indiana State Board of Accounts is requesting contracts be in place for such agencies before taxpayer funds are released to them.
"We can no longer distribute funding without a standing legal agreement, like a contract," she said. "This isn't anything personal or us questioning any organization's validity because the funding is available, it is just on hold until a legal vehicle is reached for proper distribution."
One of the organizations affected is Clay County Search and Rescue, for which the county has provided funding for the organization's truck and housing facility.
Clay County Emergency Management Director Bryan Husband said he has worked with the organization to devise a contract to help keep them funded, which Search and Rescue Chief Dave Watson has looked over and said it was OK with him during Monday's meeting.
Commissioners' Attorney Eric Somheil said he would like to make some revisions to the contract, and the commissioners tabled the issue.
"We need to get information from all the groups together so we can give it to Eric as he prepares the appropriations contract for all the not-for-profit organizations we provide funding to as soon as possible," Commissioner Paul Sinders said. "I'm sure the other organizations are in need of their funding too."
In other business during Monday's meeting of the Clay County Commissioners:
* A contract for grant administration, presented by Economic Development Planner Terry Jones, was approved as part of a Disaster Recovery Grant based on the damage and costs incurred from the June 2008 flood. Jones said monitoring has been conducted and the funding being distributed covers the 25-reimbursement not covered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The grant covers the $1,500 administration contract fee, along with reimbursing $129,797.26 to the Clay County Highway Department and a total of $6,589.72 for two area schools,
* An agreement was passed which outlined the remaining work to be done on County Road 200 East, between State Roads 246 and 157, by Little Sandy Coal Company, allowing the road bond to be released,
* Approval was given unanimously to remove roads within Colony Acres to be removed from the Commissioners' Tax Certificate Sale,
* Polling places for the May Municipal Primary Election were approved, and
* An ordinance was passed, with suspended rules, to establish a total of six new incentive funds regarding the child support incentive program and the American Recovery and Reinvestment act for the reimbursement of expenditures in order to comply with reporting demands of the Indiana Child Support Bureau.
The next meeting of the Clay County Commissioners will be 9 a.m., Monday, May 2, in the Commissioners' Courtroom at the Clay County Courthouse.