• 52°

Two organizations apply to provide drug treatment program for jail

The Boyle and Mercer Joint Jail Committee has announced Bluegrass.org and Shepherd’s House as finalists to provide a non-residential substance abuse treatment program.
The decision was made at a special called meeting on Thursday.
The committee received two applications for a potential provider for the treatment program. Bluegrass.org and Shepherd’s House, both located in Lexington, sent in proposals of what they would provide.
Judge-Executive Harold McKinney said the committee could interview one, both or neither group.
McKinney told committee members that Bluegrass.org did not attend a mandatory meeting. According to McKinney, there was confusion as to when the meeting was and how they were supposed to know when it was.
Boyle County Jailer Barry Harmon said when Bluegrass.org picked up the committee’s request for proposal document, they should have learned the date, time and location of the meeting. He asked if anyone knew when Bluegrass.org had picked up the RFP, but no one had an answer.
The committee voted to make Bluegrass.org and Shepherd’s House the finalists and interview both groups.
“There’s an appearance of fairness,” County Attorney Richard Campbell said, but since there are only two, “let’s just interview both of them.”
McKinney said he expected to have a number of proposals submitted.
“We not only have the duty to get the best proposal, but we also have the duty of fairness to those who submitted bids,” he said.
The committee discussed several pros and cons of the two proposals, and one major factor discussed was the cost.
Shepherd’s House would charge $11,000 per month for a total of $132,000 per year.  Bluegrass.org would charge $180,000 per year.
“Shepherd’s House is less expensive by quite a bit,” McKinney said.
Campbell said the proposal from Bluegrass.org was bureaucratic and a generic response to the request.
“To me, it doesn’t seem like the proposal is focused on the type of program we all had in mind,” he said.
Treasurer Mary Conley said Shepherd’s House draws a clear picture of what they want to do and Bluegrass.org’s proposal is not as focused.
“I think there’s some questions with Bluegrass.org and with Shepherd’s House, it’s pretty clear,” McKinney said.
During interviews with the groups, the committee plans to ask questions about times and locations of services, drug-testing procedures, expected outcomes, selection processes, start-up costs, timelines and more.
The joint jail committee will conduct the interviews on Dec. 9.