New Castle News

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October 31, 2013

Jail water bills rising

NEW CASTLE — Rising water and sewage bills at the county jail might not be such bad news.

On Tuesday, the county commissioners had to transfer $30,000 out of their contingency fund to cover an increase in water and sewage bills at the jail. However, according to David Gettings, county controller and prison board chairman, the primary reason for the increase is that the average number of inmates in the jail has risen from 225 in 2012 to approximately 255 this year.

One factor contributing to the increase is that the county is housing 40 to 50 state prisoners. These prisoners, Gettings said, are state inmates who have violated parole but are near the end of their terms. The state is paying $65 daily per prisoner, which brings the county $1 million or more in annual revenue, he added.

Gettings said the fund transfer was needed because the budget was prepared based on last year’s figures.

The county had taken state prisoners in the past but they had been phased out. The new agreement to take the parole violators was not made until April or May of this year, Gettings said.

The commissioners said a June water rate increase also helped hike the costs.

(Email: m_grzeb@ncnewsonline.com)

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