The Jefferson County Quorum Court approved a $25.5 Million budget for 2020 in a meeting held Monday night. Additionally, the Quorum Court approved a stopgap funding measure for the underfunded Jefferson County Sheriff’s office, county jail, and Juvenile Justice Center – which will allow the departments to operate for the remainder of the year.
Sheriff Lafayette Woods Jr. noted that the county jail nearly came up three days short of being able to fulfil October’s payroll. However, tax revenue that came in before the October 15 tax deadline allowed the county to partially fund the payroll just before paychecks were distributed.
For 2020 the sheriff’s department has a budged of $1.95 million for nine months, while the county jail has a budge of $1.99 million for six months, and the Juvenile Justice Center has a budget of $918,722 for six months.
The current approved budgets do not completely fund the departments for the entire year, but Justice of the Peace Ted Hardin told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that the reason the sheriff’s office and the adult and juvenile lockups were only partially funded was to help the county keep its budget underneath the mandated 90% limit of projected revenue that it can budget.
“It’s happened before,” Harden said. “Hopefully we’ll see more revenues come in and we can go ahead and fund it on out. We’ll have to do something.”
Jefferson County Judge Gerald Robinson joined Floyd Donald Tuesday morning on 99.3 The Beat for Talk Back Live to discuss the funding issues.