Polk government services grows over last 9 years

Published 8:00 am Saturday, January 5, 2019

Jail inmates, EMS calls, foster children on steady increase

COLUMBUS — A report included in Polk County’s 2017-2018 audit report shows that many government services have increased since 2009.

Some of the government services included in the report are inmates processed at the jail, EMS calls dispatched, foster care children, building permits issued, plots recorded, library circulation, transportation services and tons of waste received at the landfill.

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The number of inmates processed at the Polk County Jail were 761 in 2009, compared to 965 in 2018, according to the report. The most inmates processed since 2009 occurred in 2015, when there were 1,119 inmates at the jail for the year.

There were 60 building permits issued in 2009, compared to 90 permits issued in 2018, according to the report. The number of plats recorded has decreased over the past nine years, however, as there were 192 plats recorded in 2009, compared to 141 plats recorded in 2018.

EMS calls dispatched have steadily increased since 2009. In 2009, there were 2,783 EMS calls dispatched, compared to 3,154 EMS calls in 2018. The highest call volume over the past nine years for EMS came in 2015, when there were 3,257 EMS calls dispatched, according to the report.

Children in foster care is another service that has steadily increased over the past nine years. In 2009, there were 31 children in foster care and, in 2018, there were 51 children in foster care.

The Polk County Library’s circulation has also increased, with 101,374 in circulation in 2009, compared to 149,662 in circulation in 2018.

Education expenses have also increased. The expenses per ADM was $1,733 in 2009, compared to $2,445 in 2018.

Tons of waste received at the Polk County Transfer station has steadily increased as well, with 19,473 tons received in 2009 and 23,495 tons received in 2018. There was a large jump between 2017 and 2018, with 19,156 tons of waste received in 2017.

Also included in the report was voter turnout for county elections. In 2010, the county had a 53 percent voter turnout; in 2012, the county had a 72 percent turnout; in 2014, the county had a 49 percent turnout; and in 2016, the county had a 68 percent turnout.