More money found for housing fund

Published 11:28 am Friday, June 17, 2016

The out of county prisoner housing fund is expected to get a $130,000 boost from contributions from two officeholders.

Earlier this month, the county had spent almost $369,000 out of $375,000 appropriated to house prisoners in five out of county facilities. For the past year, Lawrence County Sheriff Jeff Lawless has increased the number of prisoners housed out of county to keep the state from possibly shutting the jail down because of overcrowding.

About two weeks ago, the commissioners transferred approximately $60,000 to that fund. But that was not expected to get the sheriff’s office through to the end of the year.

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At Thursday’s meeting, Lawless sent an email to the commissioners saying he has money in other accounts that could help bail the housing fund.

“In scrutinizing my budget, I think I will be able to transfer nearly $100,000 from other accounts and place it into the account for out of county prisoner housing,” Lawless wrote. “I have to hire a jail administrator and keep some money aside for overtime for deputies and transports.”

Lawrence County Prosecuting Attorney Brigham Anderson reported that he had an extra $30,000 in his budget that could go toward the jail situation.

“We were awarded additional money for a full-time drug task force person,” Anderson said. “We have not hired anyone yet. There is salary and insurance that obviously was not paid for six months.”

Anderson expects to hire someone for that position in the next month.

In other action the commission:

• Appointed Doug Marcum to the storm water task force for three years;

• Approved the FOP contract as requested by the sheriff.