Study: Kane sheriff's proposed drug treatment facility would turn profit
Transforming unused space at the Kane County sheriff's headquarters into a drug treatment facility would benefit the community and turn a profit, according to a feasibility study unveiled Thursday.
The study, performed by development company Batavia Enterprises Inc., examined several scenarios to create a 62-bed facility open to Kane County jail inmates and the general public through private insurance or Medicaid. The inmates would go through their recovery in a segregated part of the facility.
According to the study, the space would cost about $7 million to build. Either the company operating the treatment facility, the county or some combination of the two would pay for the build-out of the existing shell space. The county would act as a landlord and lease that space to a tenant.
Depending on how county officials fund the construction, such as by issuing a 20-year bond or via reserve funds, the county would net between $1.5 million and $7.5 million during a 25-year lease, according to the study.
"Regardless of who pays for it, both the county and the operator have an opportunity to be profitable," said Austin Dempsey, CEO of BEI Properties, a division of Batavia Enterprises. "And there is no doubt this is a worthy project. We all know it's needed."
The county could enhance its profits if it worked out a fee for each jail inmate it sent through the treatment facility. That idea was not factored into the study, nor was the possibility of obtaining grant money to pay for the construction.
Kane County Sheriff Ron Hain said he's exploring grant funds for the project. He said he developed the idea for the facility after seeing so many jail inmates experiencing withdrawal and other battles with substance abuse.
Kane County Board members have supported the project so far, even as the details evolve. Board member Anita Lewis wondered if the treatment facility might get a bad reputation before it even started because it's associated with the county jail and sheriff.
"I just wonder if having it in the jail is going to attract the people we want," Lewis said.
Hain said the initial marketing of the facility to the community will address that issue.
"It's all about the positioning," Hain said. "We are calling it part of the sheriff's complex, not part of the jail. It's going to have an attractive entrance. It will look like your traditional residential treatment facility."
The next step involves the county seeking proposals from potential treatment vendors. Hain hopes to open the facility by late 2020.