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County approves new jail position

The Stutsman County Commission approved adding a full-time position to the Stutsman County Correctional Center staff on Tuesday.The new position will be a sergeant position who will be in charge of different programs offered at the correctional c...

The Stutsman County Commission approved adding a full-time position to the Stutsman County Correctional Center staff on Tuesday.
The new position will be a sergeant position who will be in charge of different programs offered at the correctional center. Chad Jackson, county jail administrator, said part of this position’s responsibilities will include looking after minors who are involved in traffic stops involving adults that result in the adult being arrested. This position will also be a “preinvestigator” with the 24/7 drug and alcohol screening program, will handle inmate property when inmates are initially brought into the correctional center, and will process any mail going in and out of the correctional center.
Casey Bradley, county auditor/chief operating officer, said the cost of this full-time position is $65,842, including pay and benefits. He said there is room in the correctional center budget for the position and he felt the position is needed.
“What is really pushing this is the amount of work the external programs, like the 24/7, are now requiring,” he said. “We’re running around 40 to 50 people a day through 24/7, and that is on top of the duties the staff needs to perform with the regular inmates.”
Jackson said what the correctional center has been doing with these duties is assigning them to a corrections officer, someone who was off-duty. He said the duties used to be infrequent, but as more people are enrolled in the 24/7 program due to drunk driving or drug-use cases, or more minors are needing supervision at the correctional center while their parent or guardian is processed in a drugs or alcohol case, the assigned corrections officer is spending more of his or her down time working.
“People are working their shift, then coming in on a day off and working during that time, sometimes two or three weeks in a row,” Jackson said.
Bradley said the some of the work this new sergeant position will do is covered by a grant from the federal government.
Jackson said the work the person who gets hired for this position will do is important.
“It’s a critical program in that it keeps law enforcement (officers) on the road, rather than sitting here,” he said.
In other business the commission approved an agreement with the Sharlow Township Board that will have the township pay back to the county the $74,593 the township owes for road work it had done earlier this year.
Bradley said the township made a $20,000 payment already and will pay $10,000 in March 2016 and March 2017. In March 2017 the County Commission will then apply and excess 18 mill levy as the balance due then will be delinquent. The excess property tax levy will generate $16,129 in 2017 and 2018. Under this agreement Sharlow Township will have paid off this debt by March 2018. As part of the agreement during 2016 and 2017 all work done by a Stutsman County agency for Sharlow Township will be paid for as billed. No credit will be extended to the township until 2018 and the provisions of the $50,000 balance cap will go back into place.
The commission also approved a bid from Smitty’s Carpet Shop of $16, 380 to carpet the basement area of the Stutsman County Courthouse. Smitty’s bid was the low bid. Jim Fettig, county courthouse maintenance supervisor, said the new carpet will be installed starting February.
colson@jamestownsun.com (701) 952-8454

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