Webster Co. sups approve rate hike crease

A rate increase for substance abuse detoxification services was approved by the Webster County Board of Supervisors Tuesday.

The rate paid to Community and Family Resources will increase to $421 per day from the previous discounted rate of $215 per day.

Ken Hays, Webster County Community Services director, ran some numbers and told the board that this increase would not cause the department to go over budget.

In the last fiscal year, the county substance abuse treatment budget was about $75,000, he said, and only $34,428.50 was spent.

This year’s budget is also $75,000, for the fiscal year which is from July 2013 to June 2014. Based on projections from this year’s first four months, there is no danger of going over budget, Hays said.

“In a worst-case scenario, my suggestion is that we’re going to spend our budget,” he said.

Supervisor Clark Fletcher said this was an important point.

“I want to emphasize for our citizens that we will not exceed the budget,” Fletcher said.

Hays said the budget includes spending for detox, sheriff transportation, and legal representation.

CFR Executive Director Michelle De La Riva asked the board for the rate increase at a previous meeting. She said the detox program has been losing money for the last several years, and the new rate is based on the cost of providing the service.

The previous rate was $299 per day, she said, but Webster County always paid a discounted rate of $215 per day.

At that meeting, the supervisors decided to table the proposal until they could be informed how the new rate would impact the county’s budget. After hearing Hays’ explanation Tuesday, the measure passed unanimously.

CFR is a nonprofit group that promotes healthy behavior and lifestyle through advocacy, prevention, and treatment of substance abuse, problem gambling, and mental illness.

Webster County pays CFR for holding, detoxification and substance abuse evaluation for county residents under certain circumstances. The cost is the same for voluntary admissions and involuntary commitments.

“I want to reiterate how important this service is to our area,” Hays said. “If we aren’t providing this treatment for folks who are going to Community and Family Resources voluntarily, we’re going to be seeing many of them probably involuntarily through the committal process, which increases our sheriff transports as well as our legal representation costs. I think this is good for our citizens.”