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Committee looks ahead to coming need for new jail for Sullivan County

September 30th, 2013 10:49 pm by J. H. Osborne

Committee looks ahead to coming need for new jail for Sullivan County

BLOUNTVILLE — In the first of what are expected to be quarterly or more frequent meetings of the Sullivan County Commission’s new Sheriff’s Office Liaison Committee on Monday, several members indicated they think it’s time for the county to begin developing a long-term plan to build a new county jail.

The group, which includes Commissioners Dennis Houser, Kit McGlothlin, and Pat Shull (serving as chairman), spent most of its first three-hour meeting talking about staffing at the current jail.

Earlier this year, County Sheriff Wayne Anderson submitted a budget request citing a need for 32 new employees. Saying he understood the economic challenges the county is facing, Anderson later agreed to a budget that doesn’t include any new hires this year.

But Anderson said he based the original budget request on what is really needed to fund the services he is required by law to provide, at levels he thinks county residents expect and deserve.

The new committee is an offshoot of the County Commission’s Administrative Committee, which acts as the first filter for sheriff’s office budget requests.

Read more in Tuesday’s print edition of the Times-News or in the expanded electronic edition.

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