Another 10 prisoners, especially female prisoners, from other counties could be added to the current average Marion County Jail population of 10 to 12 local prisoners, Sheriff Rob Craft told the Marion County Commission Feb. 19.
In response to questioning led by Commission Chairman Randy Dallke as to whether it might be time to supplement the jail budget, Craft said, “It might help pay some bills. There are more beds available for the female side of the jail because the male side is more full.”
Craft said the one negative influence to the budget resulting from more prisoners might be the necessity to add another night jailer to help the current single deputized jailer.
Although night emergency dispatchers are of some assistance to the night jailer, they aren’t authorized to go into the cell areas, Craft said.
Craft said he could check the legality of limiting the number of prisoners bonding out to save on help, but he doubted the law would allow it.
Weeks when 20 or more prisoners are in the jail, Craft said, they are nearly always men.
Commissioners gave Craft approval to buy a 2013 Chevrolet Silverado truck for patrolling Marion Reservoir at a cost of $23,325 to replace a squad car with 160,000 miles.
Bruce Schultz of Blue Cross Blue Shield told the commissioners that Marion County will be entitled to an insurance refund of about $47,000 because of the low-use record last year of Marion County employees.
Schultz said at the start of 2014, health insurance may change to “highly inflationary levels” because of the federal Affordable Care Act initiated under President Obama.
The law will require insurance companies to cover persons formerly considered uninsurable. The total effect on the industry is yet to be seen, Schultz said.
After considering their history of dealing with BCBS, the commissioners approved staying with the company for employee health insurance.
The commissioners approved a plan credited largely to David Jirak of Tampa on the county planning commission to allow a three-acre building tract for one family member on existing agricultural home acreage plats.
Emergency Management Director Dan D’Albini said a severe weather awareness class will be presented March 3-9 at the Marion High School auditorium.
D’Albini said 25 persons have responded to receive oil pipeline emergency training.