Riddell Boys Ranch future uncertain
This week the Sedgwick County Commission finalizes its 2013 budget and a five-year capital improvement plan. The Judge Riddell Boys Ranch near Lake Afton is on the budget-cutting chopping block.
The county spends about a million-and-a-half dollars a year on the ranch, which tries to rehabilitate about 140 boys at a time. Indications are the ranch has done a good job, but that may not save it.
County Commissioner Dave Unruh tells me those 140 boys could be absorbed into local juvenile programs that currently deal with about 7,000 young offenders. Unruh says Riddell is a state program, but it doesn’t receive any state funding.
This county commission is committed to a balanced budget next year with no increase in the local property tax rate. Tax collections have not been going up enough to pay for maintaining all the programs and personnel at the county.
Barring any last-minute funding developments, the Judge Riddell Boys Ranch is probably history.
Our thought for today is from Charles Caleb Colton:
“Deliberate with caution, but act with decision; and yield with graciousness, or oppose with firmness.”