Written by Hillsboro Free Press Tuesday, 05 August 2008 14:25
Jail numbers raise serious questions
As a taxpayer living in Marion County, I too have questions about the proposed jail project and the financial figures presented to us thus far.
First, the commissioners are proposing a 1-cent sales tax to pay for the construction of the $8.5 million new jail (75-78 beds). I understand the interest rate on the bonds would be in the neighborhood of 5.25 percent.
The one-cent sales tax has been calculated to bring in around $900,000 per year. Using these figures, it would take more than 11.5 years to pay off the bonds and eliminate the sales tax increase.
Second, let’s use the 65-bed figure as the maximum number available to house prisoners from other counties. The daily rate has been reported in the newspaper to be between $30 to $40 per prisoner to provide a steady flow of revenue.
We have been told it will take about 12 law-enforcement personnel to manage the jail 24 hours a day at an annual cost of $600,000, which includes salary and benefits.
Now let’s crunch some numbers.
Sixty-five beds at $40 each will generate $2,600 revenue per day. Subtract from that amount the $1,644 needed per day to pay for the 12 law-enforcement personnel ($600,000 divided by 365 days).
That leaves us with a daily revenue stream of $956 to pay for the additional people to process the prisoners, do laundry, prepare food, provide nursing care and maintain the facility, plus cover the cost of utilities, additional furnishings and other items.
We also need to figure in the cost of food, prisoner clothing and the other supplies needed to operate the jail.
I really don’t think we can do all of that on $956 a day. So the question arises: Where will the extra money come from to pay these bills? The answer is easy: Add another line to the county budget labeled “Marion County Jail,” and we taxpayers will pay the bill.
My last question: Why should we Marion County taxpayers have to pay the extra cost of providing services for 65 outside inmates when the sales-tax increase tax could cause some of our major businesses to lose sales -- and maybe their business -- to support an endeavor that not only doesn’t solve our problem, but actually makes it bigger?
Let’s try to figure out a better solution to the jail issue that will take care of our responsibilities and not those of other cities or counties.
We’ve been told it will take more than two years to build and put into operation a jail of this size. Let’s use some of the time to find a better solution. We all must get involved.
Thanks for hosting state Babe Ruth event
The Kansas 14-Year-Old State Babe Ruth Baseball Tournament concluded Monday, July 28, at the Tabor College baseball field.
The host Cottonwood Valley Babe Ruth League and the seven district tournament champions from different areas of Kansas met and decided who would represent Kansas at the eight-state regional tournament to be held the following weekend and next week at Albia, Iowa. The winner there plays in the Babe Ruth World Series in Boston later in August.
The Salina D’Backs won the Hillsboro tournament. The very best of luck to them in Albia.
On behalf of Kansas Babe Ruth Leagues, I wish to thank the residents of Hillsboro for welcoming the kids and families of the players to town. They opened up the town and, literally, their homes to the visiting players.
The host-family program employed by Babe Ruth Leagues draws the hosting community closer to our baseball program and has created lifelong friendships along the way. We ask that the host families please accept our heartfelt thanks for keeping players in their homes.
The comments I heard from players and host families alike were very positive.
An undertaking of this size takes a great deal of planning and then following through with that planning to make things happen correctly. There are literally hundreds of details to consider. So many, in fact, that space prevents thanking everyone for all their work.
Recreation director Doug Sisk acted as tournament director and coordinated the tournament activities and deserves special recognition and thanks for all of his efforts.
I know he received much help from some very responsible people in town who contributed greatly in so many ways. We thank them for that help, too.
Thank you to all of Hillsboro for providing Babe Ruth Baseball with a most memorable tournament.
Asst. state commissioner
Kansas Babe Ruth Leagues
Peabody was a great host for state tourney
I had the privilege as a Cal Ripken Baseball official of being a part of the just-completed 11-year-old Kansas State Tournament of Champions held in Peabody. The tournament featured district champions from across the state of Kansas who were vying for a berth in the Midwest Plains Regional in Yankton, S.D.
Jonathan Richstatter, tournament director, and the many volunteers that worked with him are to be commended for their outstanding job of putting on a quality tournament. This was Peabody’s second state tournament in as many years, and the 2008 edition added some exciting and extra elements that gave this tournament high marks.
Team play and sports manship are always emphasized in Babe Ruth/Cal Ripken tournaments, and this was evident again at Peabody. It was evident that all who participated and attended this event had a great time, witnessed some excellent baseball and left Peabody with fond memories.
Jonathan and his committee went beyond the call of duty to provide a very special event for the youth involved. Each well-attended tournament game was proof that the local organization put on a great event for all. I heard many complimentary comments about the great baseball hosts, the fine baseball facilities, and the friendly Peabody community.
Once again, the city of Peabody can be proud of the Babe Ruth/Cal Ripken baseball program in Peabody. Many hours of volunteer work are necessary to make the program work. It is not an end-of-the-year tournament that makes a quality youth program, but what happens throughout the year, whether it be in planning and organizing, running the local league game schedule, or hosting a fine tournament such as this, that determines quality.
It is evident that these many volunteers’ investments are paying great dividends.
Congratulations on a great and exciting tournament event. To each of the volunteers and to the city of Peabody, Kansas Babe Ruth/Cal Ripken Baseball Leagues say thanks.
Asst. state commissioner
Cal Ripken Baseball
Thanks for support of baseball tournament
We’d like to thank all the businesses and people that helped us provide the picnic, refreshments and breakfast for the Babe Ruth state tournament in Hillsboro.
Those entities included the Sons of the American Legion, Emprise Bank, Hillsboro Community Medical Center, Central National Bank, Alco, Hillsboro Fire Department, Sonic Drive-In, Hillsboro State Bank, USD 410 and City of Hillsboro.