Boyle jail needs another infusion of cash

September 11, 2003|ANN R. HARNEY

The Boyle County Detention Center continues to bleed red ink, but not all of the financial news is bad.

Boyle and Mercer county governments will have to make yet another infusion of cash to the jail.

When it was built, the facility was believed to be self-sustaining with grants and state and juvenile inmates bringing additional funds to its treasury.

The number of state Class D felons has dropped over the last two years, and a state juvenile facility has taken almost all juvenile inmates away from local jails. Jailer Barry Harmon told the Joint Jail Committee Wednesday afternoon that the number of Class D felons has risen from an average of 50-53 up to 71 of inmates from other counties.

Boyle County Judge-Executive Tony Wilder said that should make the September financial statement look better, but for now more money will be needed to keep the facility running.


Boyle County Treasurer Mary Lynn told the panel there is $10,000 in the jail checking account with a $40,000 payroll coming up at the end of this week.

The financial support for the operations and the debt service is divided between the two counties on a formula based on percentage of inmates from the two counties. The current formula is 64 percent for Boyle County and 36 percent for Mercer County.

$72,000 from Mercer, another $64,000 from Boyle

Lynn said Mercer County Fiscal Court will have to transfer $72,000 to the jail fund in the near future. Boyle County Fiscal Court already has paid $64,000 and will be asked to pay an additional $64,000.

One draw on the jail's money has been the average of 100 overtime hours per two-week pay period. Mercer County Attorney Douglas Greenburg said the jail committee might want to look into hiring two more staff members, possibly as part-time workers to fill in the gaps now being taken care of by overtime.

Employee turnover has been a problem in the past, but that problem seems to have been solved.

Harmon reported there have been only four workers who left the jail's employment since he became Boyle County jailer at the beginning of this year, and two of them were terminated. The other two left for better-paying jobs, Harmon said.

"We used to have that many a week," Greenburg said. During the period from July to November 1999, 15 people quit jobs at the jail even after the committee raised the pay for workers.

"It speaks well of your management," he told Harmon.

Capt. Phil Yates said some of the former employees have called looking for a job. Greenburg suggested Yates contact some of them to see if they might be interested in working part time.

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