Jail budget in red, budget panel named

By Staff, 10/14/20 9:48 AM

PRESCOTT – While most county budgets are in the black, there’s a glaring one in the red – the budget for the Nevada County Jail.

Because of COVID-19, the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office quit taking in new prisoners, which resulted in the loss of revenue. This is what the Nevada County Quorum Court was told in its October meeting Tuesday evening.

As of Tuesday, the jail budget is $29,651.19 in the hole, and, according to interim Nevada County Treasurer Lisa Loe, income from the jail is down almost $128,000 since April, as compared to last year, and it’s all because of the pandemic.

However, the court was informed the jail is accepting more inmates and is “pretty much” full at this time, which means there’s money coming in.

Nevada County Judge Mark Glass said hopefully this budget will be in the black by the first of the year.

Loe informed the court the state owes the jail $30,000, but this won’t be enough to get the jail budget out of the red as this is a pay week.

There was a bit of good news as Mary Godwin, executive director of the Prescott-Nevada County Economic Development Office, told the panel the NCSO was approved for a COVID-19 grant. Initially, she said, the amount sought was $92,000, but because of the number of applications, the county was approved to receive $21,616.92. Godwin said $30,000 of the original amount was going to be used to pay for overtime for jail employees, while part was going to be used to buy laptops for the patrol cars, and $2,000 was to reimburse the county for having to get the courthouse sanitized.

Justice of the Peace Bob Cummins suggested the entire amount of the grant be used to help get the jail budget out of the red.

Godwin told the court another such grant is available and her office will apply for it, but doesn’t currently have a timeline on when the paperwork is due or how much will be available. She was told to apply for the grant and, if approved, it would be used to pay for overtime at the jail.

Glass said the NCSO found money to buy laptops with, but he didn’t know where it came from, how much it was or how much each computer cost.

Stacy Stone, county agent, told the court 25 students were involved with the livestock show at the Nevada County Fair and 12 will be heading to compete in the Arkansas State Fair next week.

Glass informed the court new plans for the Nubbin Hill Bridge project have been revised, making the project smaller so the county’s portion should be less.

A budget committee was named, consisting of Cummins, Herbert Coleman and Pat Grimes. The panel is set to meet at 10 a.m. on Nov. 23.