Prisoner Housing Topic of County Budget Discussions

As County Commissioners begin to consider cutting millions of dollars from the budget requests of county departments, one possibility to mitigate costs in this year’s budget is coming from the Sheriff’s office budget.

One of the proposals brought up for Commissioner consideration is using money from the 2017 sales tax to offset the costs of housing prisoners in facilities other than the Greene County Jail.

Under the 2017 sales tax, a portion of the funds that were planned to be used for issues related to the jail have not been used and could be re-worked in future planning for jail construction and operations. Funds that would be freed by this plan would then be used to offset the cost of reciprocity agreements.

The Sheriff, County Treasurer and others believe that because the costs for housing these prisoners fall directly into the costs of jail operations, it would be a valid use of the money from the 2017 tax under conditions that were promised to voters.

No Commissioners commented either way on the proposal which was one of many items discussed in the continuing county budget process.

The Commissioners did express a desire in the meeting for cuts in proposed budgets to make sure the county is working on a budget close to $600,000 under projected county revenues in anticipation of unforeseen expenses in the next year.

County budget staff are working on revising current budget documents taking into account items Commissioners have already stated they wish to have in the final budget before meetings December 27th to finalize budget cuts ahead of a formal vote.

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