GENEVA COUNTY, Ala. (WDHN) — A recent price spike by the Geneva County Jail to house city inmates is not sitting well with many of the mayors in the county.
Due to inflation and the cost increases for food, utilities, and other items, the Geneva County Commission has doubled jail fees to house city inmates from $20 dollars per day to $40 dollars per day.
These are inmates charged with misdemeanors like DUI and public intoxication.
This affects those communities with their own police departments which are Geneva, Hartford, Samson, and Slocomb. The cost goes up even higher if the city inmate is treated by the in-house county jail nurse.
Geneva County Commission Chairman and Probate Judge Toby Seay says the county had no other option, but to increase those costs on to the municipalities.
“The cost of doing business has dramatically increased for the county just like our citizens,” Judge Seay said. “Our operations costs have doubled and in some cases nearly tripled since the new facility was occupied.”
Sheriff Tony Helms says prices continue to skyrocket. With the new county jail, the utility expense
was more than $100 thousand dollars for the last year. However, Helms says he was not consulted about the price fee increase before enacted by the commission.
“A lot of the cities consider me to be the bad guy now,” Sheriff Helms said. “But like I say it has a lot to do with cost and the commission. We’re trying to recoup $100 thousand dollars for a light bill all of last year.”
“Costs increase with everything but we’re looking at increases from a city level, again the city has a fiduciary responsibility with taxpayer money,” Hartford Mayor Neil Strickland told WDHN News.
As of now, the mayors of Slocomb, Hartford, Samson, and Geneva are studying the the proposal as far as having to pay the higher fees to house its city inmates.