County approves FY21 budget, jail transfers

The Clark County Fiscal Court unanimously approved its $16.2 million budget Thursday evening, after transferring slightly more than $300,000 to the jail to end in the black.

The budget itself was approved with no discussion, though Clark County Jailer Frank Doyle spoke to the court about the county’s cuts to the jail budget.

Doyle said the court basically substituted something else for the budget he submitted for fiscal year 2021.

There is a fine line between cutting expenses and maintaining a safe environment for both inmates as well as my staff members,” Doyle said in a video posted Friday morning. The video mirrored his statements to the court Thursday evening.

Doyle said the approved budget cut the jail’s total budget by 34 percent and staff by 49 percent.

“These cuts make it physically and economically impossible to safely and securely operate the jail,” Doyle said.

The jail, though, has lost revenue in recent months from housing prisoners for the state and other counties, he said.

The court made no changes to the budget after Doyle’s presentation, and approved it unanimously.

With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and uncertainty about its effects on the county’s revenue, the magistrates said previously they expected to review and amend the budget several times through the fiscal year.

Earlier in the meeting, the court approved a $305,000 transfer from the general fund to the jail to cover outstanding bills and to bring the jail accounts to a positive balance before the end of the fiscal year on Tuesday.

Clark County Judge-Executive Chris Pace said funds were shifted within the jail budget to cover the bills, and an additional cash transfer brought the account into the black. Magistrate Daniel Konstantopoulos said there were about $123,000 in outstanding bills from the jail.

Magistrate Greg Elkins said the county has transferred $1.06 million to the jail during fiscal year 2020, well above the approximately $643,000 budgeted for transfers to support the jail.

Earlier this year, Doyle had to lay off a number of deputy jailers thanks to the coronavirus’s effects on jail populations and other counties removing their prisoners from the facility.