Cost of no jail to jump for taxpayers
by Alan Reed
Mar 05, 2008 | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Trigg County Fiscal Court convened for it’s first Monday afternoon session on March 3 at 4 p.m. to approve several items of business, include the county’s budget for lodging prisoners.

Last month the court voted by a margin of five to one to change the meeting day and time to the first and third Monday of every month.

Judge Executive Stan Humphries said, “It’s very evident that jail expenses far exceed the existing budget. We’ve simply outgrown the number of prisoners, 15, that we budgeted for.”

Humphries said that after consultation with the Trigg County Budget Committee, Jailer, County Attorney and officials from Christian County, inmates would continue to be housed in Hopkinsville at the Christian County Jail. “They’ve worked closely with us to reduce costs and continue to provide the level of service we’ve requested and require on a daily basis.”

The new budget is projected to cost the county $407,932 compared to last year’s budget for $256,000.

Humphries said that the estimate plans for a population of 30 inmates at a rate of $25 per prisoner, per day. The budget also includes a provision for a full-time deputy jailer as state regulations limit part-time workers to a maximum of 100 hours per month of labor. Humphries said that the increased workload pressed part-time deputies to the limit.

The budget capped several line items at last year’s levels. Humphries said that petroleum products and juvenile lodging would remain at the previous amounts, while costs for training benefits and training costs would decrease.

Magistrate Doug Taylor, who chairs the budget committee, said, “While the amount represents a significant increase, we’ve doubled the number of inmates for only a 38 percent increase in dollars. We’re trying to find ways to get more bang for our buck.”

Humphries noted the meeting’s attendance by Jailer James Hughes, Sheriff Randy Clark and County Attorney H.B. Quinn. “They can attest that this budget is in line with our usage of the facility.”

In other business, Sheriff Clark presented his settlement for the year 2007. With $598,973 in receipts and $601,305.71, the settlement carried a shortfall of $2,368.64. Clark attributed the shortfall to fuel costs, issues with salaries and equipment and requested the Fiscal Court allocate funds to cover the loss and balance the budget.

Get full coverage on Trigg County Fiscal Court by reading The Cadiz Record.
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