With no guarantee that it would last through the end of the year, the Oswego County Legislature’s Finance and Personnel Committee approved a budget transfer of $900,000 to cover the cost of housing inmates at facilities in other counties.
Sheriff Reuel “Moe” Todd has been grappling with jail overcrowding for more than a year and has gone to the committee several times in the past to request more funds
The legislature originally budgeted $100,00 to cover costs incurred this year, however, those funds were exhausted in the first few months. Todd made a request in February for $600,000 to cover the remainder of the year.
The legislature suggested Todd request the money in increments so that the more frequent requests would generate more publicity, hence, resulting in more public awareness of the problems Todd is facing at the correctional facility.
During Tuesday’s meeting, Todd requested $400,000.
County Administrator Phil Church said that the jail population does not appear to be decreasing and he suggested the legislators increase the amount to $900,000 so that Todd doesn’t have to make the requests in piece meal.
Minority Leader Mike Kunzwiler asked if any unused portion would be returned to the appropriated fund balance account. Church said that it would.
The committee passed the budget transfer unanimously.
Inmates are housed in other county facilities when the jail meets the maximum capacity.