BISBEE — Mental care for prisoners held in the Cochise County Jail will be returned to the county Health Department after a unanimous vote of the county Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.
Up until now, the Southeastern Arizona Behavioral Health Service had been responsible for clients under the organization’s medical care, Harik said. The county did pay for the SEABHS services to inmates at the jail. The organization no longer has the personnel available for this type of treatment.
Harik said psychiatric services were in short supply in the county. A psychiatrist had been contracted by SEABHS, but he has gone into private practice.
Chief Civil Deputy Attorney Britt Hanson pointed out that SEABHS was not obligated to provide these services to jailed clients.
Harik said the Health Department could maintain the $220,630 budget for mental health at the jail, which includes contracting with a psychiatrist, even though she expects costs for psychiatric services to rise from $20,000 to $40,000 a year and medications from $67,000 to $150,000 per year. She also anticipates providing a higher level of care for prisoners which could result in a reduction of certain medications.
“By obtaining responsive psychiatric services, increasing oversight on prescription patterns and controlling the medication we hope to stay within our budget,” Harik said.
Supervisors Pat Call, Ann English and Richard Searle voted to approve the change.
The supervisors also amended the fee schedule for document copies. The new fee schedule sets the cost of a color copy at 35 cents and a black-and-white copy at 30 cents. Information requested also can be copied to a CD for $6 per disk. A CD copy of the county budget is set at $10.
Two tentative plats that had been forwarded by the county Planning and Zoning Commission also were approved by the supervisors. The first was the plat for Redhawk III, a 309-acre parcel with 99 lots in the J-Six/Mescal area.
The second one, for Saddle View Estates off Highway 191 north of Douglas, involved more discussion as questions of annexation to the city were answered. The development is large with 534 lots on 255.87 acres. It is to be built in five phases and is expected to take years to build out.
Craig Abbot, representing DOSON LLC, said Douglas would provide water and sewer services to the subdivision. While there has been talk of annexing the land into the city, the owner of land that lies between the development and city limits has refused annexation requests.
English requested that water-saving landscape methods be included in the covenants.
In other business, the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday:
• Approved a work session to discuss challenges and solutions to alleyways in the unincorporated areas of the county.
• Approved four settlements of tax appeals in favor of Sage Tax Group II LLC that reduced some property values.
• Approved the purchase of two long-range thermal imaging binoculars from Elbit Systems of America for $81,667 to be paid for by Operation Stonegarden funds.
• Approved over-the-counter bids made by three people for 12 properties located throughout Cochise County.