2014 Smith County proposed budget
POSTED: Tuesday, August 20, 2013 - 10:36pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, August 21, 2013 - 6:03pm
Tyler , TX (KETK) — Smith County Commissioners released their 2014 proposed budget.
This year's budget was up 3% from last year.
And a good chunk of the budget goes towards the Smith County Sheriff's Office.
Sheriff Larry Smith and judge Joel Baker sat down and discussed what the Sheriff Office needs this upcoming year and the expansion and renovation of the county jail.
The renovation and expansion of the Smith County jail will spill over into the 2014 budget.
"Any part that I submitted to the commissioners court of my budget was definitely all needs and no wants. It's something that we absolutely had to have," said Sheriff Smith.
With the new facility opening up by the end of next year, Smith met with Baker to make sure their new facility will be properly staffed.
Two of the floors in the new jail will hold 144 inmates and the third will hold 96.
That means inmates who've been kept out of the county because of overcrowding will be brought back.
But, more room means Sheriff Smith needs 10 more jailers.
Lately, they've been bringing jailers in on their days off.
There will also be a change of supervision from indirect to direct.
Jailers will now be inside the jail with the inmate.
Baker said their needs to be training involved with making this kind of transition.
But, Baker said it will decrease expenses and reduce the need for additional detention officers.
"There is going to be time for a learning curve, as we move into this new type of management of a facility and there is going to be some things that we're going to have to ease into," said Baker.
And Sheriff Smith is pleased with what's carved out for the jail and the Sheriff's Office in the 2014 budget.
"I feel confident we will get through it.'"