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Jail Committee Approves $5.8 Million Budget For BCDC

Mercer’s Share Will Be More Than $1 Million

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Robert Moore
Herald Staff

The Mercer-Boyle County Joint Jail Committee approved a new budget for the upcoming fiscal year. The $5.8 million budget includes contributions from Mercer County of more than $1 million for operations and $14,000 for the jail’s energy debt service. Mercer will contribute more than $173,000 more than last year, estimated Mercer County Treasurer Sandy Sanders.

The budget has to be approved by the fiscal courts of both counties by April 1. It goes into effect on July 1, the beginning of the new fiscal year.

Officials from both counties met to hammer out the final details on the budget on Monday, Oct. 20, at the Boyle County Courthouse. The two counties already set a ration for jail expenses, with Boyle paying 65 percent and Mercer paying 35 percent. The ratio is based on the percentage of inmates each county has in Boyle County Detention Center over the previous year. The ratio also goes into effect on July 1.

“Let’s talk about these salaries,” said Mercer County Attorney Ted Dean on Monday.
Boyle County Jailer Brian Wofford said they are looking to increase pay for new employees from $15 to $18 an hour. After six months, new hires will get a five percent raise. There is also an adjustment based on seniority. Wofford said supervisors “would get a little bump.”

“It’s something we have to do to be competitive,” Wofford said. He said he lost a lieutenant with 10 years experience to Northpoint Training Center, where the officer received a raise of at least $10,000. Wofford said if they didn’t have enough staff, they’d have to shut down the regional jail and transport inmates to other counties.

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