According to Floyd County Chief Deputy Tom Caldwell, 55 inmates from Chattooga County are being boarded at the Floyd County Jail, including 40 that came last week. If only the 40 inmates stay for a month, that would lead to additional revenue of about $45,000 for that month, he said.
Chattooga County Sheriff John Everett did not return a phone call seeking comment, but Chattooga County Commissioner Jason Winters said he asked Everett to trim his budget.
Everett circulated a memo among his employees asking for “voluntary layoffs” because of the budget constraints, Winters said.
Winters said he did not specifically ask Everett to lay off staff but that “he’s pretty limited as to what his options are.”
“It did surprise me when he sent 40 inmates to Floyd County last Friday,” Winters said. “We are working with the sheriff.”
Everett lost his bid for reelection to Democratic challenger Mark Schrader, who will be challenged by Republican James Dawson.
Winters said even though they pay Floyd County to house the inmates, the cost “almost balances out.”
“This is very short term,” Winters said of the decision to move inmates to Floyd. “No more than 30 days.”
He doesn’t think revenues will improve anytime soon, and Winters said he expects to make budget cuts in other county departments in 2013.
The Floyd County Jail had the space to accommodate the additional inmates, Caldwell said. “We were able to get it done without opening an additional side.”
But if they had to open up another cell block, Caldwell said they would not have had the money to add additional staff.