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10/29/2012

Budget plan supports immediate effort to increase safety at jail

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Mary Keltz, Public Information Outreach
Phone: (360) 397-6012 ext. 4
Mary.Keltz@clark.wa.gov

Vancouver, WA – Clark County is nearing the end of 2012 with a balanced budget and proposal to invest $545,000 in safety measures for an increasing number of inmates with special needs housed in the county jail.

Recommendations are being made for final adjustments to the current budget, including a special appropriation for immediate steps at the jail to help prevent suicide and self-inflicted injuries related to mental illness and other factors.

The Board of County Commissioners will consider the proposal at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 6, in the sixth-floor hearing room of the Public Service Center, 1300 Franklin St.

If approved, supplemental budget actions also would include a $20 million transfer from the county to Southwest Washington Behavioral Health Regional Support Network, the new public agency providing mental health services in Clark, Cowlitz and Skamania counties. The $20 million previously was allocated to the county’s Community Services department for mental health services in Clark County.

Otherwise, Budget Director Jim Dickman is calling for a number of adjustments to account for interfund transfers, incoming grants and grant-funded expenses. “These have no real impact on the bottomline,” he said.

Overall, Dickman said county departments have kept spending in check throughout 2012, and the county now is expecting about $1.5 million in revenue not anticipated when the budget was formally adopted in December 2011.

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