If you read Joel Addington’s in-depth look at the financial picture surrounding Baker County’s new jail two weeks ago, then his opinion piece last week on the county commission’s funding woes, you might have scratched your head.
Essentially Mr. Addington pointed out in the first instance that prospects of an operating surplus at the new jail flowing into the coffers of the county commission are bleak.
Then he opined that a dreaded operating deficit in this coming year’s county budget may not be as dire as in recent years when Baker County’s $11 million cash surplus was sucked down to its present $3 million.
The main culprit, of course, has been the cost of housing county prisoners at the new jail. Their numbers steadily rise, and county taxpayers are on the hook for the $85 a day boarding fee per inmate, the same as the non-profit running the jail gets for ICE inmates.
That could reach $100 a day soon, and kick in the same obligation for local inmates.