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Jail employees receive raise, board wants a tie-breaker

With bills paid, the payroll done, and sufficient income in the coffer, Daviess-DeKalb Regional Jail employees received a 50 cent raise, according to Bob Gray, administrator.

The jail’s bookkeeping issues remained in flux. For example MFA gas was $1,300 cheaper this month than last, with staff unable to offer an explanation for the decrease. Gray said a daily activity log was kept for the transportation vehicles and the jail’s investigator would look into the matter.

"We are finding things out every day," said Norma Crabtree, secretary, referring to the previous administration’s bookkeeping. "I can see the light. But I still have about three big tubs of miscellaneous papers to sort through."

In other business at the March 24, meeting of the Daviess-DeKalb Regional Jail Board, a motion was approved to advertise bids for an auditing service.

Gray was chosen to be full-time administrator. He has been serving as interim director since January.

Thirteen application for assistant administrator were received. The board will hear Gray’s recommendation for the position early next week.

Board members agreed to look into the feasibility of a public election to place a fifth member on the board. The present four-member board does not allow for tie-breakers during a vote.

A representative from Windstream was set to arrive March 24 to adapt a phone line from the jail to the city’s firehouse in order to notify residents of a prisoner escape by the town siren, according to Pattonsburg Mayor Gene Walker. He said the city would include a notice with details about the siren with a future light bill.

A signal light may be placed atop a city building as another means to indicate an escape. This would help the hearing impaired and also be a second indicator to the town’s citizens.

Text-casting was also discussed.

A health insurance broker was present to try to talk the board into retaining his services after receiving a letter from the jail that it was switching agents. He noted that he had managed to get the jail back $11,000 and was still working on getting more. Secretary Norma Crabtree said the $11,000 recovered was out of $26,000 that had been lost when insurance was paid to staff who were no longer eligible. Gray said his decision to hire a different insurance agent was based upon comments made by staff who were disgruntled with customer service and asked for a change. He said he would revisit the issue and then give the board his decision.

The jail ended with a negative balance of about $29,000 for March. This was an improvement from February’s negative balance of $75,000; however, it includes the transfer of $100,000 from the Sales Tax savings.

Jail’s finances include the following: operational account $99,595; payroll $697,013; sales tax $268,206. Next payment on the sales tax bond is due in September. Swanson’s income was $173. The commissary made $13,580. The jail has one CD worth $500,000 and one CD worth $815,546.

The jail’s account’s include "reconciliation discrepancies" which Crabtree said reflected a problem with the computer-based accounting system. She said the figures appear correctly in the hand-written ledgers. It was noted that the problem needed to be corrected or the auditors would call it into question.

The board will look at the possibility of the jail paying its own health insurance for inmates. Presently, the counties pay roughly $30,000 each and the jail pays $60,000.

Crabtree asked to have online banking so she could view checks. She said she would not do the actual banking online.

There were 90 out-of-county inmates at the jail.

Gray said he was progressing on the greenhouse project.

A sign off the interstate to lead to the jail had been obtained at the cost of $7 but can not be placed on the state owned highway. The sign awaits the city, county, or private individual to offer land to put it on.

Bids for salvage vehicles were taken and the board agreed to sell to the highest bidder.

 

 

 

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