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A 2016 operating budget totaling $16.77 million was approved during Wednesday’s meeting of the Corrections Commission of Northwest Ohio.
The budget was approved with 9 votes in favor of the motion and both members from the City of Toledo, as well as Williams County Sheriff Steve Towns, abstaining from the vote. Toledo City Law Director Adam Loukx said while it was a good budget, the city continues to object to financing 228 beds at the facility which it views is the responsibility of Lucas County.
During the meeting, Lucas County Commissioner Pete Gerken asked when the City of Toledo will pay the rest of its 2015 bill totaling $299,920. He said if the city fails to make payment then officials will have to plan for the worst.
Members voted 2 to 10 against a request from the City of Toledo that an independent audit be conducted of CCNO finances. Favoring the audit were the two representatives from the City of Toledo. Mr. Loukx said the city is not suggesting any wrongdoing but events in the past year have been unusual and an overall audit would be helpful since Toledo is a 35 percent contributor to CCNO finances.
Commissioner Gerken said what Toledo is looking for cannot be found in an audit. The question being asked is who is responsible for Toledo’s offenders, he said, and what is needed is not an audit but a judge. He said at issue is whether Lucas County is going to pay $1 million in bed overages and if Toledo will pay its bills for next year.
Members did approve the proposed capital improvement budget by a 10 to 2 vote, with both members from the City of Toledo abstaining. The approval calls for members to pay an additional $1.25 per diem to raise $291,088 for capital purchases and improvements.
Members unanimously approved the 2016 Electronic Monitoring budget totaling $606,680 which is funded by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction as well as fees charged to participants. The program averages 100 to 120 participants per day to include pretrial offenders from the City of Toledo.
Action was tabled to the Dec. 9 board meeting on a proposal to increase the reserve fund that would finance retiree vacation and sick leave payouts. In addition, if a lay off would occur in the future, funds would be available for those expenses also. Fulton County Sheriff Roy Miller suggested the proposed contribution totaling $250,000 be increased $500,000. Officials stated a need to consult with other officials in their home jurisdictions with the funding proposals before acting on the matter. The reserve fund currently stands at $610,000.
Members approved the emergency repair of a hot water line estimated at $20,000 as well as $9,000 to have the National Commission of Correctional Health Care assess the CCNO substance abuse programs, policies and practices.
In his operations report, Executive Director Jim Dennis said the inmate population has continued to increase over the past months. The August population averaged 581 or 91 percent; September averaged 597 or 94 percent; and Wednesday’s population stood at 589 or 92 percent. He said jail doors were closed to Lucas and Williams counties over the past weekend due to overcrowding.
Members met in executive session for 18 minutes to discuss union negotiations. No action was taken.
This site was updated on October 25, 2016