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A fresh start

By Staff | Jun 23, 2009

The North Central Correctional and Rehabilitation Center (NCCRC) is no more.

A new name, a new start and hopefully financial stability will define the re-start of the locally-owned and operated corrections and drug treatment facility in Rugby.

A transfer of ownership was completed on June 22 and involved representatives of USDA Rural Development, the Rugby Area Job Development Authority, county and city of Rugby officials as well as Elaine Little, corrections center administrator.

The transfer involved several signatures, involving USDA, JDA and county officials and took about an hour to complete.

The JDA purchased the facility from the federal entity for the appraised value, a little over $2 million. It applied for, and was approved for a USDA Community Facilities loan. The JDA has established a 20-year lease with the county with the option to settle earlier. Eventually, the county will assume ownership.

Brenda Dissette, JDA executive director, said the monthly loan payment is approximately $13,000, and under the terms, the first one won’t be required until October. The loan payment will go to the JDA which will then pay USDA.

In the event, a loan payment can’t be made, the county can levy up to 10 additional public safety mills to cover costs, including those associated with corrections center operation.

The additional levy would require approval of the commission by two-thirds vote, and could be established up to 20 years.

The facility is now called Heart of America Correctional and Treatment Center (HACTC) , because a name change was required, and a seven-member advisory board, none from the former corrections board, is in place. The board is expected to hold its first meeting next week. Members include: Kipp Johnson, Craig Johnson, Steve Dockter, Theone Stevenson, Joe Bohl, Dave Migler and Dale Niewoehner.

Also, HACT staff are now designated as county employees, and under the policies of the governing entity.

The facility will operate essentially as it always has, relying largely on revenue for housing inmates under contract from local, state and federal entities on the jail side; and revenue from the drug treatment program, which has contracts with the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Revenue also streams in from the payments by the city of Rugby and Pierce County, who house the 911 emergency dispatch center and rent law enforcement office space at the facility. The revenue covers monthly operating expenses.

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