The Santa Fe Trail Community Corrections program will receive $10,000 from Ford County's drug and alcohol surtax fund to provide drug and alcohol testing and improve surveillance of problem clients.


   The Santa Fe Trail Community Corrections program will receive $10,000 from Ford County's drug and alcohol surtax fund to provide drug and alcohol testing and improve surveillance of problem clients.
    The Ford County Commission approved the request Monday on a 3-0 vote.
    Santa Fe Trail Community Corrections originally requested a $20,000 allocation from the fund, which is financed by a tax on all alcohol sales within the county. The fund is intended to help support drug and alcohol treatment programs in the county. The agency's deputy director, Sonja Channell, said that the agency received $26,000 from the fund last year and used part of the money to provide drug and alcohol tests for its probationers. She said the money also allowed the agency to arrange drug and alcohol evaluations and other assistance for its clients.
    "It was just a great resource for us last year to help our probationers," she said. "Because we had this money, we were able to refer our probationers to the services that they needed without having to rely on them to provide their own."
    The agency proposed using some of its allocation from this year's fund for additional drug and alcohol tests, and some for a new phone system that would help improve client surveillance. The rest of the money for the phone system would come from the agency's existing funds.
    But Commission Chairman Kim Goodnight said that this year's alcohol tax fund contains only about $16,382, which meant the commission could not grant the entire request without wiping out the fund.
    "What would you do with a shortfall of $3,600, $3,700?" he said.
    Channell said that the agency would use any money it received from the fund.
    County administrator Ed Elam suggested earmarking at least $16,000 for Santa Fe Trail Community Corrections, but Goodnight favored giving the agency only $10,000 out of the fund.
    "That would leave $6,000 in there, and we can grow that a little bit," he said.

    Reach Eric Swanson at (620) 408-9917 or e-mail him at eric.swanson@dodgeglobe.com.