The Scotts Bluff County Corrections Department is being asked to cut one million dollars and maybe more from its proposed budget as the Commissioners reduce over $4.5 million of requests to balance its general fund in the next fiscal year.
Corrections director Joe Gaul says he is in the preliminary stages of finding the reductions as he works with County Management Accountant Jerry Crable. But he says it is difficult when the county has added 70 beds and he is responsible for more space.
Gaul said, ” Even though our numbers for the facility right now are low, that doesn’t mean in several months we couldn’t be full with 280 people where it is not safe to cut. We are an active 24/7 facility and I really don’t see anywhere we can cut.”
Commissioner Ken Meyer told Gaul Monday evening he doesn’t want to see reductions that increase the county’s liability risk.
Gaul says he needs to replace the prisoner transport van and many of the other vehicles in his fleet, forcing direction from the commissioners for Gaul to review leasing vehicles.
Gaul says the jail also needs to pass a federal inspection to be in compliance to accept federal prisoners, and before the county can negotiate a new contract that could bring in additional revenue.