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County needs money from cities for new jail beds

In a rare move, the Pulaski County Quorum Court budget committee sent the jail budget to the full quorum court for a vote without a recommendation.
In a rare move, the Pulaski County Quorum Court budget committee sent the jail budget to the full quorum court for a vote without a recommendation.

Tuesday, the Pulaski County Sheriff said the jail is still overcapacity.

The jail's ability to open new beds depends on whether five cities decide to help fund the 80 empty beds which will be ready to take criminals in November. The beds can open in about a month once the new staff is fully trained, but they can not stay open next year if the cities don't chip in.

The county is asking the cities to pay nearly $685,000 to help expand the number of inmates the jail can house.

"Your action tonight, if that's what you approve, will enable me to go to them and say all right, we have in fact put up the money in our budget, now the ball's in your court," said Pulaski County Judge Buddy Villines Tuesday night to committee members.

"We can not accomplish this without the help of the cities," said Pulaski County Sheriff Doc Halladay.

If the cities come up with the money, the Pulaski County Quorum Court will still have to find $60,000 to fund the beds in 2013, but that's a lot easier than coming up with ten times that amount.

The county already approved funding for the new beds through the end of the year and the sheriff is just waiting for officers to graduate to open the beds.

"As soon as that process is finished, open those beds so that we can get those villains off the street," said Quorum Court Member Jim Sorvillo.

Alexander, Wrightsville and Cammack Village do not help fund the jail according to Quorum Court members, but Wrightsville gives $90,000 to the county every year to pay for law enforcement.

The Quorum Court will vote on the jail issue at its November meeting which gives the cities enough time to vote on their budgets and decide whether to fund the new beds.
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