MONTROSE – The Montrose Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved an agreement to lease the county-owned work release facility to Intervention Community Corrections Services, which will provide all work release related services as a community corrections program in the 7th Judicial District.
Because the work release building was not cost effective to operate for the county, Montrose County Sheriff Rick Dunlap recently made the decision to close the facility. With the new contract in place with the private contract service provider ICCS, the 7th Judicial District will continue to have a work release facility available for community corrections but now it won’t come at the cost to the county.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Commissioner Ron Henderson said at Monday’s regular meeting. “I couldn’t be happier for the community and the board because it’s been a long hard road. To achieve it and come together so cleanly is a tribute to their efforts.”
Community corrections is an alternative sentencing program for non-violent felony offenders closely supervised through a residential program.
The offenders are required to obtain employment and participate in treatment as directed. Through employment, the offender must pay for a portion of the cost of the program as well as any child support, restitution and other court fees as ordered. In addition to treatment, community corrections has education components to help an offender through such programs as GED, job application, interviewing, and computer skills.
“This is a win-win for all of us,” Dunlap said. “When we are at max capacity it will bring in revenue that we don’t have. We have been trying to put this facility together for quite a few years and this is a win-win.”
Dunlap added that the private community corrections firm will bring somewhere between 19-21 “really good paying jobs to the community.”
“We appreciate the cooperative efforts of the county and the sheriff's office to open the facility in late spring 2013,” said Stephanie Tolen, 7th Judicial District Community Corrections Board Coordinator, in a press release. “The building is an excellent fit for a community corrections facility, can house 80 individuals and only needs minor remodeling to create office space versus building a new facility that could cost as much as $4 million.”
2013 County Budget Approved at Dec. 14 Hearing
At a special hearing on Friday, Dec. 14, the Montrose Board of County Commissioners adopted the county’s 2013 budget and appropriated $59,667,937 for the county’s 2013 expenditures.
“This is a solid and well thought out budget,” Commissioner Gary Ellis said in a release following the approval. “We appreciate the efforts of staff to present a budget to the commissioners that we felt comfortable adopting. I think taxpayers interests are being well served.”
Based on the county’s net mil levy of 20.127 mils, property tax revenue is projected to be $11.4 million next year and is approximately $1.87 million higher than 2012 figures. (The net mil levy is the 23.528 gross mil levy, minus the 3.45 credit levy, plus the .049 abatement levy.) The projected $11.4 million in property tax revenues is $2.6 million below the state statutory 5.5 percent limit of $14 million.
The county’s general fund revenue is expected to increase by 9.4 percent in 2013 primarily due to property tax revenues and the reallocation of specific ownership and mineral lease revenue.
Total expenditures from the general fund in 2013 are approximately $1.3 million, or 7.1 percent, lower than the 2012 revised budget. The proposed budget for 2013 reflects a $428,000 increase in the ending fund balance.
“We set the net mill levy at 20.125 mills which reflects a credit or TABOR refund to the average residential taxpayer of $59.90,” said Commissioner David White. “We are being fiscally conservative and have had further staff reductions and continue to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars.”
A final version of the budget will be available on the county’s website at co.montrose.co.us.
Thomas Wright Out as Veterans Services Officer
Following a publically presented vetting before the Montrose Board of County Commissioners on Monday, Thomas Wright was terminated by the board from his position as the county’s Veteran Services Officer. The commissioners, who are tasked with appointing the Veteran Services Officer position, unanimously agreed to terminate him.
Wright was afforded the opportunity for the hearing to be heard in executive session because it is a personnel matter but chose otherwise to keep it public.