Commissioners lighten pinch for sheriff
Custer County commissioners agreed informally Friday to let Sheriff Bruce Peoples use $150,000 in left-over jail construction bond money to help cover a gaping hole in his Fiscal Year 2015 budget, appearing to ease the way for a workable solution to what otherwise might be a county financial crisis. The budget takes effect July 1.
The county has approximately $2.7 million left in the bond fund that was used to construct the new jail which opened in 2009. Commissioners had been hoping to save it for a “rainy day” but as somebody pointed out at a combined meeting of the commissioners and the Excise Board, “This is a rainy day.”
Peoples anticipates his department losing $565,000 over the next fiscal year from what it got the last 12 months because of a change in Oklahoma Department of Corrections policy which up until last month permitted some state prisoners to be held in county jails at a per diem rate of $27 per prisoner. The DOC’s new policy is to house all its prisoners in state facilities, including less secure community centers and work centers.