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County board receives mental health services update
May 10, 2019

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During a regular meeting Tuesday morning at the Pierce County Courthouse, county commissioners received an update on mental health support services.

Rugby Public School District No. 5 Superintendent Mike McNeff and Clinical Mental Health Counselor Dori Lennert met with the board to give an update on the progress of services. As part of a joint funding agreement, Lennert provides services to the school district, the Heart of America Correctional & Treatment Center and Pierce County Social Services.

McNeff said the program overall is "going very well". Lennert said in the program the most constant source of clients is the school district, with some overlap from social services. The jail has been the largest source of turnover. Lennert presented charts to the board that included hours spent with clients by age groups.

"The program is working," Lennert said.

"We'd like to see it continue," McNeff said.

McNeff presented the board program expenditures to date and remaining expenditures, and also presented projected costs for Fiscal Year 2020. The cost to the school district in F.Y. 2020 will be $29,178.02, and to the county $58,364.78.

Commission Chairman David Migler questioned what the "dues & fees" portion of the projected costs were. McNeff responded they were for professional development.

Migler also asked if a change could be seen in students in the program. McNeff said the program is an option that gives the district another level of support.

HACTC Administrator Mike Graner asked what effect, if any, changes to Social Services would have on the program. Migler said Pierce County could "just keep doing our thing."

Other actions

- Cindy Kuntz, of Rugby Gymnastics, met with the board to discuss equipment being stored at the Memorial Hall.

- The board met with Daniel Schwartz, of Nexus Planning & Consulting, to discuss progress on updating the county's Comprehensive Plan.

- The board accepted a bid from Cole and Dalton Vietz-Reile for lawn services at the Memorial Hall and courthouse.

- The board approved a motion that would allow electricity, water, phone, payroll, health insurance and credit card bills be paid without prior approval to avoid late fees.

- Graner informed the board that HACTC had a $2,472.17 profit in March; the facility was found to be in compliance after a Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation inspection; the cost for the food service contract, which starts in July, is up by 2 percent; 98 inmates currently at the facility; and 22 positions filled with one new hire and two offers pending.

- Sheriff Josh Siegler informed the board his department received 51 calls in April.

- The board approved allowing the chair to cast a proxy vote, electing Chad Peterson to represent Pierce County on the N.D. Insurance Reserve Fund board of directors.

- The board approved gaming site authorizations for the Rugby Eagles and the Rugby Amateur Hockey Association.

- The board approved a motion to de-obligate $22,909.20 in 2013 FEMA disaster funds.

- The board approved April meeting minutes, bills, financial statements and treasurer's checks.

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