Budget Committee hears updates from county jail
Published 1:53 pm Tuesday, January 10, 2023
BY ROBERT SORRELL
The Carter County Budget Committee learned Monday that Sheriff Mike Fraley is currently in negotiations to house federal inmates at the county jail.
Fraley told committee members that he will be meeting with the U.S. Marshals Service this week on restarting a contract to house federal prisoners at the Carter County Detention Center.
Federal prisoners were previously removed from the jail in the fall because of understaffing issues at the jail. Fraley has been working to increase the number of corrections officers at the jail since he was elected, especially since the County Commission approved a pay increase for employees.
The sheriff said he expects to bring in about 12 prisoners at first and add federal prisoners over time, possibly up to 48.
Mayor Patty Woodby informed the committee of another jail issue. The jail’s chiller was damaged during the Arctic blast over Christmas week, the mayor said.
Nor-Well of Elizabethton inspected the chiller and has gotten the chiller to work, but Woodby said it still needs to be repaired or replaced. She expects the costs to fix the problem to be covered by insurance.
The committee also approved several budget amendments, including amendments to pave the back parking lot at the county courthouse and purchase a new dishwasher at the jail. Items from the budget committee will be taken up at the next full commission meeting for final approval.
Committee members are also preparing for the upcoming budget cycle and discussed the need to consider any pay increases or other issues early in the process. The committee has planned a special called meeting on Feb. 2 at 6 p.m. regarding the budget cycle.