The Jerome County Sheriff’s Office is over budget for out-of-county inmate housing. Even if it gets a bump in next year’s budget, it may not be enough.
Sheriff Doug McFall is asking county commissioners to approve $134,000 in fiscal 2012 — a $4,000 increase, 3.1 percent from this fiscal year — as part of a requested $1.73 million departmental budget.
The county jail, which is 35 years old, holds just 30 inmates.
“We’re going to exceed it by quite a bit,” McFall said of the cost to house inmates in other counties. According to a report provided by McFall, the department had already spent $84,598 — 65 percent of this year’s allotted money — as of April, just halfway through the fiscal year.
“We don’t think next year will be enough,” he said, adding “we’re optimistic about it right now.”
McFall is also seeking extra money in a few other vital categories:
• Employee raises. McFall said he has recently lost people to other agencies that can offer a bigger paycheck. He proposes a 10.1 percent increase to his overall employee budget, which accounted for $1.16 million of fiscal 2011’s $1.57 million budget.
• Fuel. The department requests a 3.4 percent increase for its 28 vehicles.
In total, the sheriff’s office seeks a 10.1 percent increase from what commissioners granted in fiscal 2011.
“The budget pretty well speaks for itself,” McFall concluded. “With the economy the way it is, we’re hoping for some improvement. But I held it as tight as I could.”
Bradley Guire may be reached at 735-3380.