Gage County transferred additional funds to the jail budget after costs to house inmates in other counties far exceeded expectations.

The Gage County Board of Supervisors on Wednesday approved a transfer of $60,000 from the county’s miscellaneous general fund to the jail budget to cover the shortfall.

Board Chairman Myron Dorn said the funds are needed to house inmates in other counties when Gage County’s jail is at capacity.

“We’ve had some discussion at previous meetings about this and there’s another bill that just came through for more outside housing of prisoners,” he said. “That part of that budget has gone way over the amount that we originally set in our budget.”

Board member Erich Tiemann pointed out that the jail budget is separate from the Sheriff’s Department, which is expected to end the fiscal year right at, or very near, its budget.

Sheriff Millard “Gus” Gustafson said at the board’s previous meeting that the jail has around 30 beds, but Gage County has recently been responsible for up to 50 inmates.

These excess prisoners are transported to other facilities in Nebraska and Kansas.

Prices vary from facility to facility, but cost $35-$50 per inmate, per day.

Gage County budgeted $100,000 for boarding inmates in other counties this fiscal year, which ends in June. As of April 27, more than $120,000 was spent.

Costs to house inmates in other counties, as well as maintaining jail standards, have plagued the jail for years after voters defeated an $11 million bond issue to build a new jail in 2009.

Reach Scott Koperski at scott.koperski@beatricedailysun.com. Follow him on Twitter @ScottKoperski.

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