By Kathi Bliss
Federal inmate revenue continues to help offset the cost of operating the Caldwell County Jail, according to information presented by Caldwell County Auditor Larry Roberson during a brief meeting of the Caldwell County Commissioners Court on Monday.
According to Roberson’s report, although Federal Inmate Revenue is under-budget so far in the current fiscal year, the funds generated by housing Federal inmates in the Caldwell County Jail exceeds $780,000 in net benefit each year.
That total, he said, is a combination of calculations not only of housing the inmates, but also the “fixed costs,” which would be accrued whether the Federal inmates were in the jail or not.
Although Caldwell County Judge Tom Bonn said the Federal Inmate Revenue was “not the cash cow people think it is,” Roberson reminded him that, if the Federal Inmate Revenue was lost, those funds would have to be made up elsewhere in the budget.
The bulk of the time the Commissioners spent meeting on Monday was dedicated to time spent in executive session regarding the Federal court case, Katharina Harper v. Caldwell County, a lawsuit filed by a former jailer at the Caldwell County Jail alleging discrimination and wrongful termination.
Although a jury awarded Harper $45,000 in damages in April 2012, the case continues to be a matter of executive session discussion for the Court.
They did not make an announcement after returning to regular session regarding the discussion they had with their attorney.
In brief news:
The Commissioners allocated funding for technology, fire alarms and courtroom seating for the Caldwell County Judicial and Service Center.
They heard and accepted the outside audit for the 2013 Fiscal Year.
The panel approved the funding for replacement of culverts at Oak Grove Road, at a cost of $118,135.
They approved leaving the burn ban off, with a reminder to the public to use caution and to remember that burning is prohibited on “Red Flag” days.
The Caldwell County Commissioners Court routinely meets on the second, third and fourth Monday of each month at 9 a.m. in the Conference and Training Room at the LW Scott Annex. The meetings are open to the public and are webcast at www.co.caldwell.tx.us.