Platte Canyon School District RE-1 negotiated an intergovernmental agreement with Park County to provide two full-time school resource officers for the remainder of the school year. The county commissioners approved the IGA Oct. 24.
The officers will work from 15 minutes before school starts to 15 minutes after the last class and receive one hour for lunch.
The school district will pay the Sheriff’s Office $36,910 per deputy for the regular school year. Any extra duty for special events outside the regular school day will be paid at $45 per hour.
County Manager Tom Eisenman said the school funding is about 75 percent of the deputies’ salary and benefits.
During the summer and other extended breaks, such as Thanksgiving and winter break, the deputies will be assigned to general law enforcement duties not paid by the school district.
For one-day holidays, the SROs will be paid by the school district.
Any day a deputy is absent, the school is not responsible for that day’s pay. Other than illness, deputies may be absent for training, emergencies, or staff shortages.
Any missed day due to court appearances arising out of being an SRO will be paid by the school.
Personnel costs will be reconciled at the end of the school year.
SROs will be supervised by the Sheriff’s Office. The Sheriff’s Office will give consideration to any information received from the school district in connection with the SRO’s annual evaluation.
The IGA will automatically renew each year, unless one party gives written notice 14 days prior to the end of the school year.
The IGA may be terminated at any time, during the year with 14 days notice.
Human Services Director Susan Walton presented the second quarter and year-to-date electronic benefit transfers report to the commissioners as required by state law.
The total 2019 human services budget is about $4.7 million.
Of that, the EBT programs are a little more than $2.8 million.
The EBT report lists 10 programs and each program’s amount spent by quarter, year-to-date, remaining funding and the 2019 EBT budget.
It also lists how much funding per program is from the county.
Some of the programs don’t pay money directly to individuals, but to providers of services. Some pay directly to the client.
Two programs that do pay money directly are supplemental nutrition assistance program, called SNAP, and the old age pension.
SNAP is still commonly called food stamps from when paper certificates with specific dollar amounts were given to those who qualified.
Today the money is placed on a special debit card each month. The card can only be used for food at places where they are allowed, including grocery stores and convenience stores. The amount depends on family size and total family income.
Most EBT funding comes from the federal and state governments with the county being responsible for 20 percent of seven programs, such as Colorado Works/Temporary Aid to Needy Families.
Three programs, SNAP, low income energy assistance program and old age pension, are paid at 100 percent with no county match.
These three programs account for almost $2.4 million of the $2.8 million EBT budget.
In the first half of the year, SNAP has issued $771,000 out of a budgeted $1.8 million.
The old age pension program is the second highest funded program with a total budget of $321,300. Of that, $148,000 was been issued to individuals.
LEAP has issued $131,000 out of $244,000 projected for 2019.
The other eight programs range from $15,500 for home care services to $175,000 for child welfare out-of-home care, including adoptions.
In the first half of the year over $228,000 was spent in the child welfare programs.
Commissioner Mike Brazell asked Walton why the child welfare line items were overspent when the year was just half over.
He also asked how Walton planned to deal with the overage, especially if it remains as high in the second half of the year.
Walton said six high-level -of-care placements occurred which had not been anticipated. High-care placements include more services than a normal foster care placement, such as doctors, nurses, 24/7 staff and usually higher prescription costs.
She said she wasn’t concerned about the overage for this year for several reasons:
First, the department’s goal is to get all six children moved into regular foster care. To date, one child has and another is close to being released into regular foster care.
Walton said she was able to buy some funding from other counties that didn’t use all their allocated TANF funding last year.
Several years ago, the state department started allowing counties to purchase funding allocations from other counties that did not use all their funding.
Walton said she and most county directors were concerned about where the counties will get the money for Families First, a new federal program starting in 2020 that requires 20 percent matching county funds.
She said the real crunch will come in 2021 because the state said it had funds to cover the 2020 increase to counties.
Walton said this year, more funding has been provided for training so personnel can teach clients financial planning and how to remain financially healthy.
She said the staff just completed a two-day training, which was much more robust than one she took six or seven years ago.
“We’re seeing the first generation of parents that were not exposed to civic classes, don’t understand debt or know how to write a check,” Walton said.
She said the year-long training program for all employees was written by a single father who worked for $8 an hour, raised two kids while living out of a car.
The training is based on his personal experiences and how he made it to a higher standard of living.
Each month’s training focuses on a specific topic, with this month’s being how to handle difficult conversations.
She said she is so impressed with the training program, she is including attendance in each employee’s annual review.
Commissioner Dick Elsner said he thought advertisers focus on “you need this,” so people justify buying it.
Young adults today never learned the difference between what they need and what they want, he said.
Brazell asked Walton if some families that aren’t economically challenged still have the same problems, but they just get buried instead of dealing with them or seeking help.
“Problems aren’t a poor person problem; it is a human problem,” Walton said, referring to emotional and/or behavioral problems in a family.
Tower replacement SUP
AT&T, doing business as New Cingular Wireless, LLC, received a special use permit to replace a telecommunications tower on Badger Mountain, which is north of U.S. Highway 24 near Wilkerson Pass.
SmartLink, LLC, received the contract to install a new tower and remove the broken one for Cingular Wireless.
The 81-foot tower broke in high winds and is now only 40 feet tall and has just one receiver left.
The SUP was approved and allows construction of an 80- foot-tall tower about 20 feet from where the old one was erected. The remainder of the broken tower will be removed once the new one is operating.
The approval had two conditions. One required testing with all emergency services in the area and the county to confirm no interference exists with emergency services equipment. The second required SmartLink to provide space on the tower, if needed, for county equipment.
AT&T received a federal contract to install FirstNet nationwide. The new tower will be in the FirstNet network that will provide a public safety broadband network for first responders in emergency situations.
A stand-alone network will mean emergency services and law enforcement will not have to compete with nonemergency users for a broadband connection.
Vouchers were approved for $142,131. Public services spent $69,196 and the general fund spent $54,444.
The grant fund spent $7,562.
The fleet and sales tax fund spent $3,365 and $3,198 respectively.
The 1041 permit fund spent $2,229 and the conservation trust spent $1,242.
The self insurance fund spent $696 and the Sheriff’s seizure fund spent $200.