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Red Cross building will finally belong to Boyle Fiscal Court

Boyle County is one step closer in its efforts to open a drug rehabilitation program for recently released inmates after the Boyle County Fiscal Court approved a special warranty deed and a space licensing agreement and authorized appraisal of the old Red Cross building.

The deed prepared by County Attorney Richard Campbell was approved by the fiscal court on Tuesday. The deed conveys the ground on which the building sits on. When the deed is filed, fiscal court will officially own the building and be able to take the next steps in starting a program, Judge-Executive Harold McKinney said.

“This has been a very long time coming,” said Kathy Miles, director of Boyle County Agency for Substance Abuse Policy. “We should thank and congratulate those who have been working so hard to negotiate this.”

Miles said the plan for a drug treatment program is a testament to the growing awareness that things must be done differently.

“Incarceration without the tools and resources to make changes contributes to high recidivism rates,” she said.

The fiscal court also approved a space license agreement.

“We are granting the Red Cross an office in the building,” McKinney said.

In the agreement, the Red Cross will have a room in the building for three years. After three years, the license will be terminated, McKinney said.

“I do not anticipate extending the license agreement,” he said.

The third thing fiscal court approved was getting an appraisal of the building.

McKinney said Commissioner Kevin Caudill has been authorized to write the appraisal.

In a text message to McKinney, Caudill said, “The Red Cross building, in my opinion, is worth about $26,000 …” McKinney said it is estimated that the projected building value is between $26,000 and $30,000.

Once the appraisal is complete, the fiscal court will use that figure in its paperwork.

“We have to plug in a value in this even though it’s going to be a nonprofit,” McKinney said.

After everything is complete and the papers are signed and filed, the fiscal court will move on to the next step, which is writing a request for proposals (RFP).

McKinney said the RFP is the next step, but that process will take a while.

Miles said once everything is figured out, county officials and the Joint Jail Committee will get input on what program will be placed in the building and who can direct it.

There is not a projected timeline for the project yet.

“We have to be willing to spend some money on providing professional help,” Miles said.

She said as long as it is done well and is evaluated continuously, the program can start a “decrease in the jail population and an increase in productive folks in the local workforce and taking care of their families.”

“It is evident that our community leaders have educated themselves on addiction and understand it is a disease …,” she said. “These are tough and challenging times, but so exciting when a community works together for the common good.”

The building at 454 S. Third St. was vacated by the Red Cross in November 2014 after budget reductions forced several local Red Cross branches to merge into one statewide branch and shift corporate duties to Louisville.

In the months that proceeded the closing, the fiscal court decided the building would be the ideal location to launch an intensive outpatient drug program — a program that would solve three ongoing issues: filling vacant Danville office space, addressing an ever-increasing drug problem and helping to relieve jail overcrowding.

Initially, negotiations focused on securing a two-year lease on the building from the Red Cross, with a subsequent sub-lease to WestCare Foundation. But negotiations bogged down and questions over how the deed should be prepared slowed the process.