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$1.5 million increase to jail budget proposed

The Clark County Detention Center is asking for a $1.5 million increase in its budget for fiscal year 2019, a 50 percent increase from its current budget.

The 2019 budget, which was submitted to the Clark County Fiscal Court last week, includes state-mandated increases for retirement contributions as well as adding 17 full-time security staff to the workforce.

Clark County Jailer Frank Doyle said increased retirement contributions alone added nearly $378,000 to the budget, along with an additional nearly $83,000 for FICA.

All governmental entities are facing similar increases this year in retirement contributions for employees, with Clark County expected to pay more than $600,000 additionally this year.

The biggest thing would be adding 17 full-time jobs, which is a response to a staff analysis conducted by state corrections officials in 2017 at the request of the fiscal court.

“They concluded the detention center is understaffed severely,” Doyle said, “according to what they recommend. You’ve got to keep it safe for inmates, staff and the community.”

Doyle said the jail was not required to follow the recommendations from the staff assessment, but it could cause issues if there were ever an incident at the jail.

“If we didn’t do it and something goes wrong, then the jailer didn’t do his job,” Doyle said.

According to the submitted budget, staff payroll would increase nearly $1 million to $1.9 million and health insurance would grow from $260,571 to an estimated $312,000.

New revenue would come from a contract to house another county’s prisoners, which saw that line increase from $15,000 to $470,000 for 2019.

The county’s contribution to the jail would nearly triple from $800,368 this year to $2.01 million in 2019.

The fiscal court has not discussed the proposed jail budget yet. Two more budget workshops are scheduled later this month.

About Fred Petke

Fred Petke is a reporter for The Winchester Sun. His beats include cops, courts, fire, public records, city and county government and other news. To contact Fred, email fred.petke@winchestersun.com or call 859-759-0051.

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