Committee begins work to set Trigg on stable financial ground
by Alan Reed
Jan 23, 2008 | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Embarking on what he described as a “slow start to a long process,” Budget Committee Chair and Magistrate Doug Taylor joined County Judge/Executive Stan Humphries, Magistrate Larry Lawrence, County Financial Officer Ruth Ann Mitchell and County Treasurer Lucy Oliver at a meeting last Tuesday to begin work on the county budget for the fiscal year 2008-2009.

“While we are the budget committee, the budget is the Judge/Executive’s to develop and apply. I applaud the judge for involving the Fiscal Court,” said Taylor. “We as a committee are a sounding board to develop and advise the judge on the needs of the county.”

Judge/Executive Stan Humphries said, “The jail budget is probably the most pressing idem we have to deal with. We must approve a budget by March 1.” He said that the first meeting should focus on a general discussion of the budget, identifying wants and needs within the county.

“I realize we had a tax increase last year. When we look at the jail that might be where some of the extra funds are needed,” said Taylor. “I met with (Jailer James Hughes) and he will come back with his numbers for the jail.”

The Trigg County Jail ceased operations on April 1, 2006 as a money saving measure. The Fiscal Court at the time said that many improvements required by the state to continue to operate were too expensive. The county entered into an agreement with Christian County to lodge inmates at a cost of $25 per night.

“I will say about the jail budget that we have seen an increase in the number of inmates housed in the Christian County Jail,” said Humphries. “We’ve met with some of Christian County’s law enforcement and jail officials who have helped us with our billing and eliminated some of the medical expenses in jail.”

According to Humphries, Trigg County paid the Christian County Jail about $22,000 for the month of October, with an average of 30 inmates per day. Humphries said that the existing budget model would leave housing and medical expenses for inmates under funded in the new fiscal year.

“We have more inmates than the 12-15 we anticipated with the budget,” said Humphries. “Lots of days we have to transport to Christian County, and one jailer can’t do court days all by himself. We’re talking to Jailer Hughes about adding a full time staff member, or maybe promote an existing staff member to a full-time position.”

For more on the jail crisis and the new budget, see your Cadiz Record.
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