A new location for the Cobb County DUI Court Program will be leased for at least the next three years - with annual rent of $56,280 - at 515 Roswell St., Marietta. (Courtesy of LoopNet)

Cobb DUI Court Program to lease new office

The Cobb County DUI Court Program and its treatment services will move to 515 Roswell St., Marietta.

Leasing this space will provide the program with more control in managing costs, staff and programs, according to action taken by the Cobb County Board of Commissioners on May 14.

The lease will be for an initial term of three years with the option to renew for two successive one-year terms.

Rent for the initial term will be $56,280 per year and will increase by 4 percent for each of the two renewal terms, if used.

Funding for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2019 is available within the department’s approved Fiscal Year 2019 budget.

The rent will cover utilities, trash removal, property taxes, real estate commissions, maintenance, repairs, landscaping, security system monitoring and janitorial services.

Extra costs will include internet service for around $200 per month.

Funding for the lease and internet service will be provided from participant fees and grants.

The property previously was occupied by the Drug Court treatment provider.

New flooring and updated bathrooms are needed with possible funding by grants.

Funding for the lease, treatment providers, staff and renovations is not being requested from the county.

The Cobb DUI Court began operation as a pilot program in October 2008 as Cobb State Court’s voluntary post-conviction, intensive probation program for multiple and/or high-risk DUI offenders, according to Cobb State Court Judge Eric Brewton.

Participants in the program are required to attend group and individual treatment sessions several times a week, appear for random alcohol/drug tests at least twice weekly and attend status hearings bi-weekly or monthly, depending on their phase, he added in a May 14 memo to County Manager Rob Hosack.

Since the county commissioners’ decision in June 2009 to continue the DUI Court, the program has continued to prosper and help Cobb residents struggling with alcoholism find recovery and make more responsible decisions that do not harm the public’s safety, Brewton said.

The DUI Court Program is primarily self-funded, charging participants a weekly fee of $75 to support the majority of the treatment and drug-testing costs required for the court’s budget.

The rest of the required funding is obtained through various ongoing Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC) grants.

Since its implementation in 2008, the DUI Court has contracted with third-party vendors for the treatment and drug-testing collection services.

In January, a Request For Proposal (RFP) was issued to locate a new vendor; but all of the proposals submitted cost more.

After exploring other options, Brewton said the court determined it would be more efficient and cost effective to administer the treatment services directly with the counselors and clinical providers rather than through an intermediary vendor.

Operating through independent treatment clinicians enables the court to directly negotiate fees for services with those providers and avoid increasing overhead expenses and costs of a corporate vendor, Brewton added.

Information: CobbCounty.org/courts/state-court/administration/courts

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