By: Laura-Jane Hatcher (WRGA News)
After eight years in the red, the Floyd County budget is finally in the black.
The good news was presented by interim county manager and finance director Gary Burkhalter at Tuesday’s commission meeting. A clean-up of the un-audited 2012 budget shows a surplus of a little over $2 million.
“During the year of 2012, we had a couple of one time revenue items for the county’s general fund,” Burkhalter says. “The cost associated with that had occurred earlier that year so we had not budgeted the full impact of that revenue. So, at the end of the year, we are actually showing that our revenues exceed our expenditures, and we will have an increased fund balance in the neighborhood of $2 million for 2012.”
Also at the meeting, Floyd County Commissioners unanimously agreed to a price increase on inmate medical care at both the Floyd County Jail and Prison. The cost is an extra 4 cents per inmate, but their Georgia Correct Health medical team deserves the hike, public safety officials say.
The prison has taken on several mental health patients from the now closed Northwest Georgia Regional Hospital, many of which require regular medical supervision. As they must be separated from the rest of the population, these inmates are currently housed in booking.
This, however, is a temporary solution, says Floyd County Chief Deputy Tom Caldwell.
“We do have in-place a short-term solution that works pretty well for us now,” he says. “I think in the coming year, it will continue to work well for us until our population goes back up. But, down the road, three-to-five years from now, the conversation we’re going to have to have is a long-term solution, because what we’re doing now is not going to address it.”
Also as a result of Tuesday’s meeting, The Floyd County Jail and Prison will be switching over to a new inmate phone service. The new ICSolutions service will now allow families to speak to their incarcerated loved-ones on a cell phone.