The Jackson County Commission continues to pass along information to the public about its ongoing financial struggle.
County Administrator Bob Manning explained how public safety would be negatively impacted by the county’s money problem at the commission meeting last Monday.
The Commission’s 2019 General Fund Revenues is a total of $8,620,155. That number will decrease by $750,000 in 2020. The expenditures for the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office and the Jackson County Jail come out of the general fund. The expenditures for the Sheriff’s Office are $2,770,948. The expenditures for the jail are $2,150,615. That is a total of $4,921,563. That is nearly 60% of the county’s general fund budget.
“I’ll assure you, neither of those departments are overpaid or overstaffed,” said Manning.
Jackson County Chief Deputy Rocky Harnen said the Sheriff’s department have been working with three deputies at night for the last several months. He said they have lost a few people, and it takes a long time to get new deputies trained. Harnen said until they get out of the police academy and get to know the county, they cannot do anything. He said it was difficult working with one less person at night.
“It’s overwhelming, not to mention the fact that the crime rate has gone up,” said Harnen.
Harnen said the jail was a perfect example of the rising rate of crime in Jackson County. The Jackson County Jail is built to hold 208 inmates, but it currently houses around 230 inmates.
Manning said there would be bigger problems down the road if this financial crisis is not addressed.
“It’s just a matter of time,” said Manning. “We have got to get serious about public safety in this county.”
Manning also encouraged Jackson County citizens to learn about their county government and how it operates.