In a 4-0 vote, with Precinct 3 Commissioner Andy Meyers absent, the court approved resolutions declaring the county’s intent to advance funding and reimburse expenditures by issuing county bonds, notes or other obligations for improvement projects to juvenile probation and detention center services as well as the county fairgrounds.
Funds totaling $357,227 will provide the following for the juvenile probation and detention center services:
- replacement flooring and 10 new laptops for the Juvenile Justice Alternative Education Program’s Arcola site at 400 Coen Road, Arcola;
- replacement gym flooring at the juvenile detention center gym located at 122 Golfview Drive, Richmond;
- three vehicle replacements; and
- additional residential placement funds for higher-than-expected costs.
Additionally, the court approved $110,000 in funds for county fairgrounds located at 4310 Hwy. 36 S., Rosenberg, to pay for a new roof on the RV restrooms and new fencing and gates.
Both the juvenile detention center and the fairgrounds were included as part of a facilities bond referendum proposed last summer. It was replaced with a flood-mitigation bond referendum, which voters passed in the November general election.
In the facilities bond package, $30.4 million would have gone to an expansion of the juvenile detention center. The funds would have helped bring the 26-year-old, 60,000-square-foot facility up to modern standards and accommodate growth.
The existing detention facility can accommodate an average daily population of 50 juveniles but has held up to 72 juveniles, county officials have said. That number is expected to increase in part because of a new bill that increases the age of criminal responsibility from 17 to 18, moving 17-year-old offenders to juvenile detention centers beginning in 2021.
An early version of the proposed facilities bond referendum included $27.3 million for a multipurpose facility and $2.2 million for offices at the fairgrounds.