Commissioners reject grant for Court Services |

Commissioners reject grant for Court Services

Christine Kuklica

The Churchill County Commissioners met for their second monthly meeting on Wednesday and defeated a $75,000 grant that would allow an Alternative Service Program for Court Services, despite an unwavering team of supporters behind it.

The Alternative Sentencing Program did not have the outcome that many in attendance had hoped for. Court Services Director Brenda Ingram presented the proposal to the commissioners and said the Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant funds would have been used in a productive manner.

Out of Ingram’s grant, New Frontier Treatment Center would have received $18,500.

The grant would have allowed Court Services to create an Alternative Sentencing Program to help defendants stay out of jail; however, it would be only available to defendants who have committed misdemeanor crimes. The funding would be used to purchase more ankle monitors and treatment assessments and costs. The funding would also allow Court Services to hire two part-time officers and to purchase equipment and supplies necessary to run the Alternative Sentencing Program for the fiscal year.

Three people from current test-trial patients testified in support of the program. They pleaded with the commissioners to pass the grant so that other addicts could get the same opportunity had to beat their addiction.

Peter Budahl, a current client of New Frontier Treatment Center, delivered a persuasive argument in favor of the grant. He provided the commissioners with his personal struggles and successes in the pre-trial program.

“In the four months that I have been there, I have rehabilitated myself from a suicidal addict who could not stop using despite all the negative consequences that I might face, homelessness, mental illness, disease, incarceration,” Budhal said. “All of these things were realities for me when I was an addict. I’m still an addict today but I’m an addict in recovery. It’s because of places like New Frontier Treatment Center and the programs that they offer.

“I would not be able to be in the situations that I am rehabilitating myself, making myself a better person and seeking positive employment and giving back to the community like I have been able to. I urge you please accept this grant; it will change lives, many lives, and changing even one life is worth it.”

According to County Manager Eleanor Lockwood, the commissioners’ concerns are the grant is allotted for one year, the program has not yet been developed, they are not sure of its functionality or its effectiveness. Once the grant funding is gone, she said the county will assume the cost. Since they have not seen anything to ensure the program will work, or if there is a demand, the commissioners decided to reject the proposal.

Commissioner Bus Scharmann discussed in further detail as to why the board could not follow through with the grant.

“The concern that I have is two-fold, one is that the county make a commitment that they in a year requires us to go into our own coffers to support it,” said Scharmann.

“That’s my first concern. The second concern is that we have possibly at this point all the parties who were involved with this have not come on board or are not involved with this thing. I want to make sure that when we do go into this that we have all the support of all the players, and that if it ever comes to a point where we do have to support it through the county in some way, that everybody’s a player.”

“And it’s not just, it’s not a power play or battle somehow, and so I guess my concern is that we can take some time and go ahead and see if Court Services is the place for this, if it’s something that the county needs, that the courts and the justice system and the law enforcement field we need and we can move forward with the grant in the future.”

In other business, commissioners took action on the following:

Received an update of current activities, plans, and actions related to the Carson City District of the Bureau of Land Management.

Listened to a representative from the Nevada Rural Housing Authority, gave an update on their activities and programs.

Approved the Social Services Department to move forward with an agreement with the Center for Applied Management Practice, Inc.

Approved to update the Churchill County Assessor’s Office equipment and approved to go into contract with Pictometry International.

Rejected the bid from Ben F. Dotson Construction Inc. to purchase all of the component parts of the Fallon Golf Course sewer pant and the individual components of the sewer plant.

Listened to historical taxable sales in Churchill County for the fiscal year that ended June 30.