By Forrest Hershberger
Sidney Sun-Telegraph 

Commissioners Discuss Jail Costs

 

January 9, 2019



Each county jail charges an amount per inmate for offenders from other counties.

For the Nebraska Department of Corrections, the average annual cost is $35,950, according to Nebraska.gov.

Cheyenne County charges neighboring counties $45 per day. Monday morning, Cheyenne County Commissioners asked newly elected Sheriff Adam Frerichs if the rate is sufficient for the costs of managing the jail, and in comparison to other regional jails.

Frerichs said the rate and the number of inmates from other counties housed in Cheyenne County is benefitting Cheyenne County.

“We’ve had some pretty good income from that,” Frerichs said.

The commissioners noted the per day rate has not changed since 2011. Frerichs said he had a conversation with former sheriff John Jensen about keeping the costs down considering the counties Cheyenne County is working with “don’t have deep pockets.” Commissioner Philip Sanders said he wants other counties to pay their fair share. Discussion included possibly raising the rate to $50 per day. One regional facility is charging about $80 per day, according to the commissioners.


In another matter coming before the commissioners, conflict continues between the noxious weed management program and two county residents.

Bob Lafler and Warren Phelps met with the commissioners regarding the weed management program and the county’s weed superintendent specifically. The County Highway Department works with the Weed Department in identifying possible noxious weed locations by marking suspected noxious weed areas with flags. Lafler contends the flags do not work.

“She has her route,” said Highway Superintendent Doug Hart. “ She doesn’t just skip all over the county.”

After the meeting, Hart explained that Burke has a pattern in weed management. A complaint may not be answered the same day it is reported.

Commissioner Randal Miller said the Highway Department conducts training sessions to help employees identify noxious weeds. Miller continued that he has received several compliments on the county’s noxious weed management.

“All we can do is the best we can do,” Miller said.

Commissioner Philip Sanders agreed, noting noxious weed conditions have greatly improved since Burke took over as noxious weed supervisor.

“I am seeing results guys,” Sanders said to Lafler and Phelps.

Miller encouraged Lafler and Phelps to contact Burke directly with any concerns of noxious weeds in their area.

 

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