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Dare commissioners make money moves

On Feb.16, 2021, Dare County Board of Commissioners made several money moves.

The commissioners authorized hiring a new sheriff’s deputy to provide transportation for non-custodial substance abuse patients to treatment locations.

County manager Robert L. Outten made the presentation. The recommendation for the additional deputy came from the Substance Abuse Task Force.

Currently, a person with a substance abuse problem shows up at The Outer Banks Hospital, often late at night. The hospital cannot treat the person who needs to go to a substance abuse facility, said Outten. He continued “there is no process to transport” people needing treatment.

Telephone calls go out to find someone to take someone to a treatment facility. Initially, the hospital called Social Services and a social worker would agree to make the trip. Outten described that practice as “unsafe” for the social worker who was driving a person with a mental health crises or substance abuse problem in the middle of the night to treatment center.

Right now, the process of searching for a driver is “very random,” said Outten.

Annually, about 100 patients request help.

Sheriff Doug Doughtie has agreed to provide the transport service. The additional deputy position will give the sheriff the staffing flexibility to transport patients.

The commissioners unanimously authorized the hiring of a deputy sheriff using a combination of monies from the Drug Court Diversion Program fund, contingency or sheriff’s budget for this budget year. The position will be carried annually in the sheriff’s budget.

To outfit a new deputy, the cost is $18,150 and includes uniform, radio, gun and other items. The annual salary with benefits is $66,305. Outten said that eventually the new position will need a vehicle.

In other money moves, the commissioners unanimously:

– agreed to Change Order No. 1 for the Manteo-Shallowbag Bay Dredge Project. The change order uses $60,000 in excess state funds to increase project dredging. Under the change order, an additional cubic yards of dredge material will be pulled from Ranges 1-4 and 5.

– approved a three-year contract extension for Google Workspace Enterprise Standard at a contract price of $141,360.

– ordered the county’s tax collector to advertise publication of tax liens on unpaid 2020 real estate tax. The total unpaid taxes as of Feb. 5, 2021 on real estate are $1,936,300.23. The unpaid taxes will be advertised in the March 28, 2021 edition of The Coastland Times.

– accepted the report from Outten that he moved $51,050 from contingency fund to facilities maintenance to deal with a problem at the fuel depot.

– moved around $62,790 in excess COVID-19 bonus funds into the contingency fund.

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