BOCC ends jail discussion –for now

Published: Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 09:18 AM.

The Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday voted to keep the Gulf County Jail operations intact.

Commissioner Joanna Bryan said she would continue to look at the $1.2 million jail budget and liability issues as the county budget continues to contract.

Jail administrator Michael Hammond said he had been “blindsided” by the discussion of two weeks prior, during which Bryan, for the second time, raised the issue of jail inspections, liability and jail costs.

Since being requested by Commissioner Warren Yeager to “think outside the box”, something Yeager again championed Tuesday, Bryan has examined ways to possibly cut jail costs.

Hammond said he wanted to bring some history to the issue and to “set the record straight.”

He disputed figures published in the newspaper last week regarding costs and jail operations, figures that had been provided to Bryan by county administrator Don Butler, in consultation with Hammond, on July 29 after Bryan first raised issue regarding the jail population and operating expenses more than a month ago.

He also disputed conclusions made by Bryan based on those figures and published last week, saying that farming out the male population at the jail, as is currently policy on females, who are housed in Bay County, would not represent a cost savings.

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