WALKER -- Cass County spent and received 57 percent of anticipated social services revenue through 58 percent of the year at the end of July this year, said Melanie Wolfe, social services fiscal agent.
Social services cash on hand at the end of July after first half property taxes were received was $2,603,548, about $2,000 less than a year ago.
Costs for placing children outside their own homes was at 58 percent of budget by the end of July this year, but the county has been able to recover more money for those costs from other sources than in prior years.
Actual county share of those costs, therefore, this year ran 53 percent of the amount the budget projected for 58 percent of the year.
Cass' total projected 2000 budget for out-of-home placements is $2,439,000. Actual average monthly costs have been running about $200,000 so far.
Health and Human Services Director Dorothy Opheim reported Tuesday costs for medical care for jail inmates this year exceeded the $25,000 budget in July.
This includes costs for county health nurses to visit inmates at the jail and for inmates to receive medical services when they go to clinics, hospitals and dentists.
The board authorized transferring an additional $10,000 into that fund. Opheim said she likely will have to request more money for inmate health care before year end.
Cass commissioners will consider in September whether to adopt a sliding fee schedule like that used in Crow Wing County to charge people receiving detoxification services for that service when they can afford to pay.
They voted Tuesday to use detoxification services now available in Brainerd and an existing service at Grand Rapids in addition to Pine Manor near Park Rapids and the Leech Lake Reservation detoxification center.
Per day costs for detoxification run $270 at Brainerd, $180 at Pine Manor and $200 at Northland Recovery in Grand Rapids, said Frank Schaap, social services supervisor.
The county pays a flat annual rate to the Leech Lake Reservation to help the reservation defray costs for operating its facility. Most of that facility expense is reservation funded.
Under the proposal to recover these costs from people receiving detoxification, Schaap said he does not expect a lot of people to have incomes high enough to qualify to pay.
The Crow Wing scale Cass is considering would require people in a single-person household to pay 25 percent of detoxification costs if they have more than $8,501 annual income. That would increase to 50 percent, then 75 percent at $12,001 and $15,001 and 100 percent of costs at $18,001.
People from a two-person household would begin paying 25 percent at $12,001 income level and hit 100 percent at $21,001. People in a four-person household would begin paying at $18,001 annual income and reach 100 percent at $27,001.
Kay Ahles, social services collections supervisor, said she is investigating whether state law would permit recovering these charges from people's tax refunds if they refused to pay for services.
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