Boyle, Mercer transfer twice what they used to for October jail expenses

Published 3:19 pm Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Boyle and Mercer counties will need to transfer a total of $200,000 to keep their shared jail operating into November. That’s twice the $100,000 that Boyle County treasurer Mary Conley said the counties used to need to transfer.

Conley said the $200,000 would be enough to cover jail expenses “hopefully to our next jail meeting.”

Conley indicated the $200,000 seemed to be an outlier — she said she forecasted previously that rising costs would lead to average monthly transfers from the two counties of around $125,000.

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Some factors leading to higher costs include the jail’s new medical contract, which is costing around $35,000 a month; and a big increase on the facility’s water bill thanks to a recent sewer-rate increase from the City of Danville, Conley said.

The jail’s average sewer bill had previously been in the vicinity of $8,000; the most recent one was more than $11,000, Conley said.

Boyle County Judge-Executive said he anticipates the jail’s water bill will rise by $5,000 monthly because of the city’s price hike.

Danville City Commission voted 4-1 in August to pass substantial rate increases on its sewer customers in anticipation of the need to upgrade its sewer treatment facilities in the coming years. Officials said by raising rates now, they will have more cash available to pay for renovations and less money will have to be borrowed, meaning a lower overall increase in the long run.

Base residential and commercial sewer customers are now paying $4.52 per 100 cubic feet, compared to $2.64 previously.

The jail also had to spend around $4,000 on linens and mattresses; more than $2,500 on clothing and uniforms for inmates and prisoners; and a “couple thousand” on ammunition, Conley told Joint Jail Committee members.

Boyle and Mercer counties share the cost of the jail at a 65-35 ratio. Boyle will transfer $130,000; Mercer will transfer $70,000.