The estimated increase in operating costs for the proposed jail were presented to the Yadkin County Commissioners at their regular meeting on Feb. 2, as requested by the commissioners at a previous meeting.
Costs for operating the new jail were presented by Major Danny Widener of the Yadkin County Sheriff’s Office. Widener explained that the costs were estimates based on information and data obtained from vendors and comparable detention facilities. The estimates are based on a capacity of 110 inmates versus current acceptable capacity of 40 inmates.
The largest increase in costs, $560,965, is due to additional staffing required to manage the jail. Widener stated that an estimated additional 22 staff will be required for the new jail. 20 of these will be detention officers and the other two positions are administrative.
New facilities are badly needed as soon as possible according to Widener.
“There are currently 27 individuals on pre-trial release and probably 20 of these should be in jail,” Widener said.
He believes the court system and magistrates would be more apt to set higher bonds or secured bonds if the space were available for offenders to be housed in Yadkin County.
Commissioner Brady Wooten who pushed for these estimates to be developed as part of due diligence in the planning process for building the new jail felt the projections were very conservative. He is concerned that programs that are usually funded may not be funded in the future due to the increased financial burden.
“With the estimates provided, the amount for operations represents $.03 property tax,” said Commissioner Kevin Austin. “The amount for construction was budgeted for, but the cost of operations was never budgeted or reviewed during the planning process.”
No plans were provided to the public regarding a revenue source to address the additional costs.
“It will have to be budgeted in,” said Commissioner Chairman Chad Wagoner.