Interlocal agreement could have Polk and York Counties sharing juvenile diversion services

YORK – It is being proposed that York County enter into an interlocal agreement with Polk County which would allow York County’s juvenile diversion program to also serve clients in the neighboring county.

Tristan Perry, York County’s juvenile diversion coordinator, told the York County Commissioners how he is the process of putting together the annual crime commission grant application for next year and he’s asking for his department to also serve Polk County.

He said if that would be the case, he would apply for funds to serve both counties.

Commissioner Daniel Grotz asked about the matching funds aspect, as some local match is required. “Would Polk County also contribute to the matching funds?”

“The matching funds would come from both, based on their allotments,” Perry said. “Polk County would put forward their own match. This would be for juvenile diversion services in both counties.”

“Do you feel your staff can handle the workload of another county?” Grotz asked.

Perry said yes, he felt that would not be an issue.

“They don’t have a ton of juvenile diversion cases there,” Perry said. “We could do that.”

“Well, if we could help them, that’s fine,” Grotz said, “but if at some point the workload is too much . . . I want to make sure our main focus is on York County. I’m not saying that would happen, but that’s where my brain is at.”

“As with most interlocals, there needs to be a way for both parties to exit if they want to, in the future,” said Commissioner Randy Obermier. “I’d like to see something like that built into this interlocal agreement as well.”

“My worry is if we are understaffed too much to take on another county,” said Commissioner Woody Ziegler.

“It will be a small number of cases over there,” Perry said. “We are busy all year round, but adding 5-6 cases is something we could handle.”

“What is the impact of this on your idea of creating an adult diversion program here?” asked Commissioner Woody Ziegler.

“There wouldn’t be an effect on that proposal,” Perry said.

The commissioners postponed a vote until an exit clause is built into the interlocal agreement. They will revisit the matter on Dec. 12.

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