The Tri-County Regional Corrections Board met on Monday morning inside the Polk County Justice Center. The agenda included a Red River Juvenile Center Update, The approval of the 2022 budget, and a Contract/Agreement with Unique Security Inc.

The meeting began with approving the September 13 and September 27 meeting minutes. Tri-County Community Executive Director Andrew Larson then gave a rundown on September jail numbers. The jail is currently housing 179 inmates as of this morning, and the average daily number for September was 177. The two biggest arrests in the month were for Controlled Substances and probation violations.

Larson also provided an update on more Personnel Issues. “There was quite a bit of changes in general with the Juvenile Center getting ready to close temporarily,” said Larson. “Several of those staff were able to move into other positions, which will be helpful for us. We’re down a couple of part-time positions in the jail, but all in all, we’re sitting pretty good considering what we’ve been through.”

Larson then gave a Red River Juvenile Center Update. “The primary update was to simply inform the board we’ve communicated with staff at the Juvenile Center that we will be temporarily closing it,” said Larson. “That was the main update, and we have plans in place to move two juveniles to a facility in Moorhead before the closure begins, so also updating the board on that as well.”

The Juvenile Center is now temporarily closed as of yesterday and will remain closed until construction can be completed on the building. The construction is estimated to be completed sometime next summer.

The next item on the agenda was a resolution for 2022 Health Benefit Renewal Rates. The board reviewed Blue Cross Blue Shield Insurance Proposals for the upcoming year, as the plan is to leave the Northwest Co-Op’s proposed plan and stay with Blue Cross Blue Shield.

Larson explained why they will be moving away from the Northwest Co-Op. “We got some alternative rate options for single and family plans from a few different providers,” said Larson. “The ones from Blue Cross Blue Shield were more attractive to us, and because of that, we felt it better serves our employees to go in this direction.”

The board approved the resolution to go with Blue Cross Blue Shield.

The board then reviewed a budget proposal for 2022. Larson provided any new details or adjustments made to the budget since the board last met. “The biggest changes to the budget from the September meeting have to do with the unknowns with the Juvenile Center,” said Larson. “The budget draft presented at this meeting included the closure of the Juvenile Center as well as some adjustments to the anticipated cost of living, and some insurance increases based upon our contract negotiations with a couple of our union groups.”

The budget for 2022 was approved by the board as it is not anticipated changes will need to be made. The Tri-County Regional Corrections Budget for operation is around $10 million, with approximately 70% of it being for personnel costs.

The next item on the agenda was to approve a Renewal Agreement with Unique Security Inc. Unique Security is the company Tri-County partners with for maintenance handling all electronic systems in the jail and Juvenile Center. The agreement is for another year of Unique Security providing their services to Tri-County Regional Corrections. The board approved the agreement unanimously.

The meeting ended with a closed session dealing with labor negotiations. Larson provided what details he could. “It was just a general update to let the board know where things stand with our two union groups,” said Larson. “Not a lot that I can provide, but we’re optimistic that we can get these negotiations wrapped up in fairly short order.”

The board is not anticipated to meet again until November.