Supervisors approve ISP funding request
The Emmet County Board of Supervisors Tuesday approved most of the money requested for a counseling program for prisoners at the Emmet County Jail.
Karee Muilenburg, counselor with Seasons Center for Mental Health, requested $525 a month for the Integrated Service Program which until this year was funded with a federal grant. Under the program, Muilenburg either sets up services through the Northwest Iowa Alcoholism and Drug Treatment Unit or conducts case management with prisoners with mental health issues.
Muilenburg said the program had been fully funded by Clay, Dickinson, and O’Brien counties, no funding in Osceola and Lyon counties, and with discussions continuing with Palo Alto County. She said her funding requests for each county were based on the number of times she met with prisoners and how many individuals she met.
Supervisor Randy Beaver agreed the ISP program has its benefits and that Muilenburg was doing an excellent job with prisoners. However, he was concerned that it was one more program that was dropped onto counties after federal funding ended.
“I really think it’s an important program,” said Supervisor Roger Anderson who moved that the program be approved at full funding.
Supervisor Jim Jenson asked where program funding would come from for this year. The current program grant expires April 20, two months before the start of a new fiscal year.
Auditor Bev Juhl said the Court Services budget will have to be amended anyway, and an additional $1,000 could come from that budget to fund the program until June 30.
Supervisor Ron Smith asked if founding would have to continue year after year if a grant were not awarded.
Jenson said he would be willing to fund the program for three months. “If they don’t have something in line by then, they aren’t going to have it.”
“I’m not willing to fund it totally,” said Supervisor Randy Beaver. He favored proving half the money for a full year.
“Would you consider going to $4,000 because of the importance of the program?” Anderson asked.
Smith moved that the board fund the program at $4,000 for 14 months, and the board approved.