Pocahontas Commission Extends Contract with MindEase Solutions
Angela Hoffman from MindEase Solutions came before the Pocahontas County Commission at their August 1st meeting to ask for an extension of their contract to provide classes and therapy to the participants in the Day Report Center. Not only did the Commissioners agree to extend the contract for this fiscal year, but they learned a lot from Angela’s presentation. There had been concerns expressed by the Judges to the Commissioners and to the Commission’s Attorney that class and therapy sessions for Day Report participants needed to be expanded in the number of participants taking them, and the number of classes being offered. Angela enlightened the Commissioners as to the reasons for this. Even when they had 20 participants in the Day Report program, most of them were either on probation or under bond supervision, only four were actually convicted and sentenced to fully participate in the Day Report Program, and therefore eligible to attend the MindEase Classes and Therapy. She pointed out that Probation Officers could order those on Probation to participate fully, but usually do not do so. Angela also pointed out that the Magistrates could order those under Bond Supervision to participate in the full Day Report Program, including the classes and therapy, but have not been doing so. Even those convicted, are often ordered to attend classes and therapy at Seneca Health Services, which is wasteful since the MindEase Program is already paid for by the county contract. Both the Commissioners and Commission Attorney Bob Martin appreciated this information. Martin meets with the Circuit Court Judges this Friday about the Day Report Program and will ask them to let the Magistrates know about having people on bond supervision ordered to fully participate in the classes, and have convicted people sent to MindEase classes and therapy instead of to Seneca Health.
The Commissioners heard from Mike Vance and authorized him to provide an estimate for replacing the locks at the Former Shoe Factory, possibly using non-duplicable keys on the 17 locks in the secure office area that houses the Day Report Center.
The Commissioners approved the new the Emergency Absentee Voting Policy for the October 7th Special Election.
The Commissioner received Jimmy Vandevender’s Day Report Center monthly report. They started July with 21 participants, obtained 4 new ones, had 4 complete the program and terminated 5 from the program, leaving 16 participants at the end of the month. Of those, only 4 were true Day Report participants, 4 were on probation and 8 were on bond supervision. The Commissioners were pleased with an increase in the number of drug screenings conducted in July.
Sheriff Jeff Barlow appeared before the Commissioners and requested use of the vacant pet grooming office in the Former Shoe Factory Building to use as a Home Confinement Office. The Commissioners voted to allow this.
Representatives of the following organizations appeared before the Commissioners and requested contributions or funding:
- The Tucker Foundation was granted $4000.00
- The Pocahontas County Youth Soccer League received $500.00, which was the most they could receive under Commission rules since they are not a 501(c) tax exempt organization.
- The Pocahontas County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau requesting funds for the County Bi-Centennial Commission was granted $5000.00.
- The Pocahontas County Prevention Coalition was granted $5000.00
The PCHS Career and Technical Education Department did not send a representative therefore under Commission rules could not receive funding.
The Commissioners heard from Gene Watkins of RAJCO who offered the services of his company to conduct a free audit of Commission telecommunications and utility bills to see if they can negotiate a reduction in costs. Watkins said they do this for a number of counties and most of the time can negotiate with venders to reduce bills significantly. The only charge would be 40% of any cost reduction they can negotiate. The Commissioners asked for him to send more information and a proposed contract.
The Commissioners appointed Christine Rebinski, Don McNeel and Janet Ghigo to three year terms on the County Emergency Medical Services Authority; approved and signed the grant contract for the Division of Justice’s approved Court Security Grant valued at $27,351.00
The Commissioners each delivered updates about their activities on their assigned Commission Boards.