“We all think the current juvenile detention center is far from terrible, and we need a new center,” said Croken. “But, it’s not about the importance of the project, it’s about the use of ARPA dollars to support the project.… The question is,“ How do we fund it? ”Usually, if we didn’t have ARPA money, we would have a community referendum. ”
Kinzer said he opposed the use of additional federal bailout dollars beyond the originally agreed $ 4.5 million to build a new 40-bed facility.
“We owe it to staff (and detained minors) to build a safe facility” that addresses concerns related to COVID, Kinzer said. “They deserve to be safe and we need a facility that can provide that.”
County officials said that a larger detention center with greater physical separation from staff, contractors and minors would help detention staff meet the operational needs of the pandemic and implement tactics of COVID-19 mitigation in assembly places, including places of incarceration, which is an authorized use under the current federal government. guidelines.
This, county staff said, would include space for a medical suite and isolate COVID-positive minors from others to avoid possible outbreaks, as well as eliminate the use of the double bunk and improve patient management. air and ventilation.
The discussion to “maximize” federal grant dollars for a new detention center came after supervisors listened to a dozen people speak for nearly 25 minutes against the use of COVID-19 relief funds for the extension of the detention of minors.