Widgetized Section

Go to Admin » Appearance » Widgets » and move Gabfire Widget: Social into that MastheadOverlay zone

Jail budget in the red

By Staff, 08/12/20 10:44 AM

PRESCOTT – Due to COVID-19, the Nevada County Jail budget is in trouble.

Eric Fatheree, jailer, addressed the Nevada County Court during its August meeting Tuesday, saying the jail has increased the number of inmates, but this has to be done slowly to avoid anyone getting the coronavirus. Incoming inmates must be quarantined for 14 days before they can be put in the general population. The problem is, there are only three holding cells that can be used for quarantine purposes. He told the court there are now 48 inmates in the jail, but the income is down $24,000 a month. However, he pointed out, expenses are also down.

He reminded the court the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office is down four employees and has done nothing to replace them. Current employees are working overtime, but this doesn’t equate to four salaries, adding payroll is not over budget.

Fatheree said next months budget should be better as the county is owed $20,000 it hasn’t collected from the state. He added the 1/4 cent sales tax for the jail is on par with what it brought in during prior years, but the cost of operating the jail is $71,000 a month and at least 60 inmates are needed to break even.

Nevada County Clerk Julie Oliver said the court may need to ask for another 1/4 cent sales tax to operate the jail at some point in the future.

Fatheree said the long term plan should be to expand the jail and add more beds. He told the court inmates being held for the Arkansas Department of Corrections (ADC) can’t be moved because of the virus, and there are plenty of other counties that would send inmates to Nevada County if they could.

Seating in the Nevada County Courthouse was brought up with the court reminded it’s a safety issue for the public as some of the seats aren’t functional.

Nevada County Judge Mark Glass reminded the court it had looked at replacing the current seating with wooden pews made by the ADC, with and without padding but the county didn’t get a grant it applied for to help pay for them and the initial quote date expired.

Fatheree told the panelĀ  he would look into it again and see what it would cost. Estimates will be for pews with and without padding.