Detox services agreement for Pitkin County approved by Aspen officials |

Detox services agreement for Pitkin County approved by Aspen officials

New intergovernmental agreement changes percentage of payment for five jurisdictions

Aspen City Council this week approved a new intergovernmental agreement that solidifies detox services in Pitkin County and levels the playing field in financial contributions among entities that fund the facility at the Schultz Health and Human Services building.

The participating members include Aspen Valley Hospital, the city of Aspen, the towns of Basalt and Snowmass Village, and Pitkin County. The original formula had AVH responsible for 30% and other governmental jurisdictions paying an amount based on population, the number of liquor licenses and the amount of utilization of the services, according to Aspen Assistant Police Chief Bill Linn.

Prior to the updated intergovernmental agreement, which council approved on Tuesday during its regular meeting, the funding formula for the jurisdictions was recalculated annually and they were invoiced to pay the county acting as the fiscal agent.

The participating members requested an updated IGA to reflect more neutral language identifying the facility’s operator, as well as a new percentage-based formula that is predictable for their annual budgets, according to Linn.

This year’s cost share was determined on a one-time basis by using the 2021 formula plus a 3% increase across the board.

The city’s portion for this year is $183,608 and is based on population, liquor licenses and utilization of the detox facility.

The entire detox budget for this year is nearly $600,000.

Recovery Resources, the current vendor of the facility, admitted 98 people last year who stayed an average of 29 hours, according to Linn.

The Aspen Police Department made 319 detox-related contacts in 2021 and prioritizes placing people in the most dignified setting possible, Linn wrote in a memo to council.

APD placed five people at the facility in 2021 and another 15 through AVH, where a high percentage of those needing detox are given medical clearance before going to the facility.

A total of 40 detoxes came from Aspen residents, or about 41% of utilization of the facility, according to Linn.

The updated IGA establishes a percentage funding formula for 2023 and subsequent years with AVH at 30%; the city, 27%; Pitkin County, 25%; Snowmass Village, 9%; and Basalt, 9%.

The IGA among those governments was first established in 2014.

“During the past seven years the participating members have developed smooth and trusting relationships around this project resulting in consistent community access to the four-bed detoxification and withdrawal management center located at the HHS building,” Linn wrote in the memo.