The Gage County Board of Supervisors increased budgets for the sheriff’s office and jail to cover the rest of the fiscal year.
On Wednesday, the board increased the jail budget by $45,000 and the sheriff’s office by $25,000 to cover shortfalls.
The funds will come from the county’s miscellaneous general fund.
Board Chairman Myron Dorn said housing inmates in other counties was one factor in the jail shortfall.
“A fair amount of it was for increased boarding of prisoners and also their medical,” he said. “I’m sure we’ll look at the in the budget closer as we go through next year.”
Increasing the jail budget was approved unanimously, while the sheriff’s office increase was approved 6-1, with board member Erich Tiemann voting against.
Tiemann said last fiscal year the board transferred $24,000 to the department from the inheritance fund to cover a shortfall, which was not repaid to the fund.
In addition, Tiemann pointed out that the department’s budget grew from last fiscal year by $70,000.
“At the beginning of this year, there was going to be a 27 percent increase was his initial asking, which would have been $1.3 million dollars,” Tiemann said. “We ended up accepting $1.2 million, which was about a $70,000 increase. I beat the desk and threw a fit saying ‘no more money, we’re going to live within this budget.’
“We’re over by $50,000 again. I’m going to vote against this and when we have our next budget year we’re going to have to start trimming somewhere.”
Tiemann also raised the point regarding the jail budget that last month the board transferred $60,000 from the county’s miscellaneous general fund to the jail budget to cover a shortfall.
“This is the second increase now, so that’s an increase of $105,000 for the jail,” he said. “There’s higher medical costs and more outside boarding. Along with that though, we probably need to start getting on staff over there and pinching our pennies on other stuff.
It’s been stated 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.. As of April 27, more than $120,000 was spent.