July 10, 2013 — The end of the 2012-13 fiscal year brought good news to Carter County taxpayers in terms of jail expenses.
The county had expected to spend $2,481,150 to operate the Carter County Detention Center and to make annual bond and interest payments.
However, actual expenditures were $130,360 less than budgeted, according to figures provided to the Journal-Times by County Treasurer Beth Justice.
A major factor in the jail’s finances was an increase of $212,676 in revenue for housing federal prisoners.
Income from state prisoners also increased during 2012-13.
At the same time, revenue for housing inmates from other counties declined by $118,084.
The 2013-14 jail budget will project only $10,000 in revenue from other counties.
Although the new increased rate of $54 per federal prisoner per day went into effect in April, the final three months of the year actually brought in $5,000 less than the average for the previous three quarters.
For the fiscal year just ended, the jail was expect to generate $1,710,450 in revenue and receive a subsidy of $770,700 from the county general fund.
With the additional income, the jail budget’s subsidy was only $645,000.
The other side of the budget is operational costs and Jailer R. W. Boggs attributes those savings to planning ahead.
“We bought some stuff in bulk and I keep the heat on our vendors to get good deals,” Boggs told the Journal-Times. “We try to make do with what we have. My objective is to be profitable and I hope to do that by next year. If you compare us to jails in adjoining counties, this jail cost here isn’t as bad on the taxpayers.”
Currently, CCDC is holding 183 inmates. Federal inmates account for just 61 of those.
Boggs says that most of the current 112 county prisoners are being held on meth-related charges.
“Thank God we have federal prisoners or we would be in such a hole financially,” he said.
In the recent past, Boggs’ management of the jail has drawn criticism from some members of the Fiscal Court.
The jailer says the county’s financial woes can no longer be pinned on the jail.
“The jail is roughly 50 percent of the county budget and it should be obvious that we have that side of the budget fixed,” Boggs said.
The jailer claims that the facility’s good financial showing in 2012-13 is proof that a regional jail is not needed.
Leeann Akers can be reached at email@example.com or by phone at 474-5101.