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Scott County supervisors looking at higher jail costs for 2007 fiscal year

CLIFFORD JEFFERY • May 6, 2007 at 10:15 AM

GATE CITY - While Scott County is in good financial shape with a general fund balance that exceeds what anyone can remember, the Board of Supervisors learned the downside of next year's budget recently.

In a budget work session, Scott County supervisors learned they can expect to pay more for the lockup of both adults and juveniles.

"Our cost (for the regional jail in Duffield) is based on estimated average of Scott County inmates to be housed," said interim County Administrator Kathie Noe.

That is based on an estimate of 63 inmates per day. Jail operation jumped from the estimated $287,128 in the 2005-2006 budgeting process. The budget was later amended to $325,761. The jail has requested $373,288 for the upcoming year, Noe said. Total debt service expense is $4 million. Scott County's part of that is $260,303 for 2007-2008, she said.

While the regional jail holds adult offenders, the regional juvenile center is also going to cost the county more, Noe said.

Care at the Appalachian Juvenile Commission Highlands Juvenile Detention Center went from $155,908 in 2004-2005 to $207,151 in 2005-2006, $276,000 this year and an expected increase to $347,200 next fiscal year.

"Our usage continues to increase every year," Noe said. "The total operating budget is $2.2 million. Our portion is $347,200."

This is an increase of more than $200,000 since 2004, said Board of Supervisors Chairman David Redwine.

"It's an increase of $71,200 from last year," Noe said.

"This used to be the Appalachian Services Group. All the counties who participate in this go back 36 months and figure out our average usage of the facility for housing juveniles. We found our usage increases every year," Noe said.

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