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County approves jail agreement with Bourbon

The Clark County Fiscal Court signed off on an agreement for Bourbon County’s jail to house Clark County prisoners, though there was not immediate need to transfer prisoners.

In July, the court discussed the agreement at length but took no action until magistrates could meet with Clark County Jailer Frank Doyle and compare numbers and statistics.

Magistrate Travis Thompson said he, Magistrate Greg Elkins and Judge-Executive Chris Pace met with Doyle twice in recent weeks, and all seem to have a better understanding of the situation.

“Everyone brought something to the table,” Thompson said. “I think the relationship with the judge is much better.”

“Those have been productive meetings,” Pace said, “even if we don’t agree on the math. We have a better working relationship with each other. We’re not looking to shut down the jail. Nothing in this document gives us the authority to shut down the jail.”

During the previous discussion, Doyle and Elkins presented differing numbers on the jail’s financial situation and its impact on the county’s general budget. Where Doyle said the jail ended the fiscal year 2020 with a budget, Elkins’ calculations indicated the jail’s budgeted transfers from the county went over, and the cost of housing a prisoner was more than $37 a day.

Pace said the agreement was intended as a tool for jail staff to stop rising expenses, not a plan to close the jail.

The agreement calls for Bourbon County to house Clark prisoners as needed, and it would take further action by the fiscal court to execute the agreement, Clark County Attorney William Elkins said.

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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