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More money set aside for jail

LaGrange County Council took an unusual step Monday morning by establishing a special non-reverting fund for jail income. This means income received from sources such as the State of Indiana or a neighboring county for housing prisoners, from community corrections prisoners who pay for room and board, or other jail income, will now be receipted into the non-reverting fund instead of the county general fund.

Expenses for operating the jail come from the general fund. During the course of the discussion on jail costs, it was suggested that an ordinance could be passed that would charge those who are sentenced to serve weekend time in jail, possibly a per-diem rate of $35 per day for the time served. This would also go into the jail non-reverting fund.

Council members voted previously to go ahead with the simulcast paging system with a promise to address funding for the $888,000 project at a later time. Monday produced conversation that it may be prudent to use money that remains in the Hospital Trust Fund for the enhancement to communications. This will help with the page-out communications for the county’s volunteer fire departments and hopefully eliminate all of the “dead spots” in the county. LaGrange County REMC will be partnering with the county on this project to help with their communications, also.

 There is currently about $950,000 in the Hospital Trust Fund.

The hospital fund has been used in the past to fund emergency medical services, but council members seem to be leaning toward funding that service from the new public services income tax fund.