SIOUX CITY | A fee increase for outside agencies to house young people in the Woodbury County Juvenile Detention Center is expected to generate an additional $100,000 a year.
The county starting Aug. 24 will charge agencies $150 a day per young person, up from the current $100. The center is in the Trosper-Hoyt Building at 822 Douglas St. It has room for 20.
Counties and other agencies can send teens awaiting court cases there. The agencies either don’t have room or don’t have a juvenile facility.
The new rate is in line with similar facilities in Cherokee ($150) and Council Bluffs ($165).
The Taxpayer Research Council, a Sioux City watchdog group, during county budget talks in February recommended increasing the fee.
The county has agreements with Dakota County, Neb.,; Union County, S.D.,; and the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs to handle housing for all young residents awaiting court cases.
The agreements date to 2008. This is the first fee increase since those contracts were authored.
In the 2012-13 fiscal year, outside agencies provided $233,000 in reimbursements and the state of Iowa gave $381,560 to the county, leaving $1.06 million for the county to cover.
The facility on average has 14 residents, and the majority are from Woodbury County. Earlier this week, 18 were there and 10 were from Woodbury County.
County Board Chairman George Boykin, of Sioux City, said the fee change is fair. He said they didn’t want to go too high or agencies will decide to house young people in other facilities.
"It is time for the rate to go up," he said.
Dakota County Director of Corrections Terry Kern said having the increase in the middle of a fiscal year isn't ideal. He said his 2014-15 budget is set and he may not send all the juveniles to Woodbury County.
"We got caught a little short," Kern said.
He said they have no plans to change in the long term.
"Everything goes up. It is not a deal killer. We've had a great relationship with (Woodbury County)," Kern said.
The Detention Center has rolling contracts with the other entities, which allow for review on a yearly basis. Either party has the right to give 60 day notice if wanting to terminate the contract.