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County finds new home for probation office
December 31, 2013 Jerry Purvis   

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At their Monday meeting, the Scotts Bluff County Board of Commissioners agreed to purchase the former McConaughy Discover Center to house the District 12 Probation Regional Reporting Center.
The building, which previously housed the First National Bank Gering office, is located across 10th Street from the county administration building. While the finalized contract still needs to be worked out, the county agreed to buy the building for $220,000, well below its valuation.
The probation office has been working with the county for years to find a new home for its offices, currently housed in both the courthouse and administration building.
There had been previous interest in purchasing the former Aurora Loan offices in Scottsbluff. The county also considered remodeling the old county jail for office space, but both of those options proved to be unaffordable.
District 12 Probation Executive Director Linda Buehler said she was “ecstatic” with the decision. “It’s my responsibility to meet the needs of my officers so they can do their jobs,” she said. “We’re finally moving toward that.”
Her office has added six additional juvenile probation officers to comply with recent state legislation that turns more juvenile cases over to the counties.
Thirteen probation staff will be moved into the new building, which will include separate entrances for juvenile and adult clients. The added space will also allow for additional programming, such as counseling and job skills training. That programming was problematic in the county administration building because of other offices and the need to be open at night and on weekends.
Buehler said her office has already received a $38,000 grant from the Nebraska Crime Commission and she is working on another. Those funds, if granted, would help defray the expense of purchasing the building.

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