The Boone County Quorum Court met Tuesday night and finished what the Finance Committee started a week earlier and approved several appropriation ordinances.
An appropriation ordinance was presented to the committee by Justice Glenn Redding last week calling for establishing a Boone County District Court Probation Fund, upon an agreement with the city of Harrison and the county.
The money would provide the office with a budget, of $20,000, that is $10,000 from the county matched with $10,000 from the city, to continue operating the Boone County District Court Probation Office through December 2019.
Redding called attention to the fact that the two probation officers have been buying their own fuel and tires as well as one cutting her own pay to cover costs in the department.
Redding explained that District Judge Fred Kirkpatrick has been made aware of the situation and proposed adding a $5 fee on each citation written in the district court's jurisdiction that would be put into and maintain the fund. The judge was in the process of confirming that the fee would not violate state statutes.
Probation Officer Charlene Bell was present Tuesday night to answer questions from the JPs. She said the office had been gradually losing funds over the past few years due to a drop in the number of probationers paying the $35 probation fee due to the lack of incentives for them to do so. One being that the county jail is often full of more serious offenders.
She said she believed the plan worked out by Redding, Harrison Police Chief Chris Graddy, Mayor Jerry Jackson and Judge Kirkpatrick would bring funding to the probation office to an appropriate level.
This would be a one-time appropriation by both the city and the county, Redding told the court. The new fee would make the probation office self-sustaining.
The Road Department received a check from the Omaha Volunteer Fire Department for $422.22 for fuel. It was appropriated into the Road Department's Fuel Fund.
The Road Department also received two checks for $247 from the town of Zinc for fuel. These funds were also appropriated to the Road Department's Fuel Fund.
A third ordinance forwarded to the court by the committee appropriates $916 from within Circuit Court Judge John Putman's budget into another line item. After doing improvements to the office, the judge needed to move the funds from Special Legal to Building Materials in order to cover the cost of the new carpet. No new funds were added.