Financial matters dominated talk at Monday’s meeting of the Webster County Fiscal Court, with expenditures at the Webster County Jail and the Webster County Sheriff’s Department being discussed.

Under state law, jails are responsible for providing medical care for any inmates incarcerated at their facility. That includes routine medical treatment in the jail, and any treatment that has to take place offsite.

The county’s annual budget, which runs from July 1, through June 30, allocates $13,000 for such medical care. As of Dec. 31, the mid-point of the budget, the jail has already spent roughly $9,400 (or 70%) of that amount.

“With the inmate population being down, you would think we would be under budget, not over,” said Judge Executive Steve Henry. However, he stressed that the unexpected overage is not a major problem, as the jail’s overall budget runs around $3 million per year.

Jailer Morgan McKinley told the court that he is currently exploring other options for the facility, including possibly changing to a different medical provider. The county has not executed a new medical contract for the jail since 2011, when it reached an agreement with its current provider.

In other business, the Webster County Fiscal Court is required to issue a bond for the Webster County Sheriff as he is the county official responsible for collecting county tax dollars. That bond would protect the county in the event those funds were lost or stolen before they could be deposited in the bank.

Henry told the court that in previous years, the county has bonded Sheriff Frankie Springfield in the amount of $4 million for a cost of $9,645. However, in looking into tax collections, it was discovered that the maximum amount the office takes in during a single day is around $350,000.

He told magistrates they could bond new Sheriff Donald Jones for $350,000, which would only cost the county $1,650. Magistrates agreed, voting unanamously to make the change.

Magistrates also reviewed the outgoing sheriff’s tax collections for 2020, as well as the county clerk’s annual budget, which was set at $3,314,000.

Contact Matt Hughes at matt@journalenterprise.com or 270-667-2069

Contact Matt Hughes at matt@journalenterprise.com or 270-667-2069