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Jail budget $46k in red

By Staff, 01/10/18 9:55 AM

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PRESCOTT – Why the jail budget was $46,000 in the red was the main topic of discussion at the January meeting of the Nevada County Quorum Court Tuesday evening.

JP Bob Cummings broached the subject asking why the budget figures showed the jail to be in the hole by $46,000. The actual figure is $46,485.38. Nevada County Clerk Julie Oliver said most of that came from having to redo the floors as funds hadn’t been appropriated for those repairs.

Nevada County Sheriff Danny Martin said, yes, the floors were part of the problem, but the jail has also had issues with its heating and air system requiring repairs and the parking lot had to be repaved and none of this work had been budgeted for.

From there, he gave the court some sad news, telling the justices of the peace the Nevada County Sheriff Office’s drug dog, Max, had died of a lung infection, something, he said, no one saw coming. However, the K-9 Academy in Little Rock agreed to sell the NCSO a new dog at half price, $4,900, and recommended the NCSO set up a “go fund” account for future unseen problems.

Martin told the court arrangements had been made to get the dog and the county would have 30 days to pay for it. He asked if the money could come from part of the $50,000 from a cash bond the county received from a drug bust Max was involved in. He was surprised when Nevada County Judge Mark Glass told him the new dog has already been paid for. Glass reminded the panel $5,000 of the bond money went to the public defender’s fun, while the NCSO and county general funds split the rest. Eighth Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Christi McQueen said her office would pay half the cost of the new dog as well.

Martin continued saying the NCSO will be needing a new transport vehicle soon and it will cost around $30,000. The last Crown Victoria the department has, he said, is pretty much on its last legs and has no heat. Because of this, it can’t be used to transport inmates, so a van is being used. He told the court there’s also problems with the Ford Explorers the department has as one has $6,000 in body damage and another has transmission problems and isn’t safe to drive. Dodge, he added, still has the state bid.

George Smith, JP from district 8, asked Martin to provide the county with written information on the cost of a new vehicle for the NCSO, saying the court had previously voted to require such requests in writing. Martin agreed and will have the information for the court at its February meeting.

In other business, Judy Duke, curator of the Nevada County Depot and Museum, told the court the museum is close to a closing date for the Prairie D’Ane Civil War Battlefield and an acquisition ceremony will be held after the closing, which should be this month. She said the ceremony will likely be in February.

Jamie Hillery, executive director of the Prescott-Nevada County Chamber of Commerce, told the court coffee season will kick off on Jan. 23 when the Chamber hosts the first community coffee of the year at the Nevada County Library. The Nevada County Extension Office will host the second one on the first Tuesday in February at the Extension Office.

The court was also presented with copies of a draft for a new personnel policy handbook for the county. Smith said the draft contains a mesh of existing policies along with policies recommended by the state. He suggested the JPs go through the handbook so it can be discussed next month.

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