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County budget takes a hit

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Trinity Countyseal 200By Tony Farkas

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GROVETON — Trinity County’s budget for the previous fiscal year showed almost a half-million dollar shortfall, largely due to expenses incurred by the jail.

County Auditor Bonnie Kennedy told the County Commissioners Court on Nov. 28 that the 2022-23 fiscal year didn’t end well and there will be a $450,000 difference between what was budgeted and what was spent.

There were additional costs due to housing prisoners in other counties’ facilities, as well as insurances costs. Kennedy stressed that there wasn’t enough money budgeted, but the county did have the funds to cover the costs.

However, Kennedy cautioned that eventually, the county’s coffers could run dry.

Commissioner Mike Loftin agreed, saying he was concerned that the overages will eat into the county’s savings.

She also said that the first month of the new fiscal year will look off because the new software is not posting all revenues, particularly from the Justice of the Peace departments, correctly.

Sheriff Woody Wallace said the trend will continue as a new agreement with Houston County saw jail prices rise from $35 to $75 per inmate per day. Additionally, the county in its first month of the new fiscal year was hit with almost $18,000 in medical costs for inmates, and only $34,000 was budgeted for the entire year.

In other business, the county:

•discussed refinancing trucks for another year as the company cannot provide replacements on a lease agreement;

•approved the Sheriff’s Office Trade School Scholarship Program guidelines and procedures;

•tabled approval of a contract for housing inmates with Houston County to allow for some negotiation; and

•approved accepting a $1,000 donation from the Republican Women of Trinity County for the Trinity County Community Center.

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