Beaufort County Jail Repairs, Inmate Housing Estimated Cost = $500,000

By: Dan Yesenosky
By: Dan Yesenosky

The target date for inmates to return to the Beaufort County Jail has been pushed back again, and the delay is costing the county $500,000 according to one commissioner.

The jail has been empty since June 8th when electrical issues with the generator forced a judge to hand down a court order that until repairs were made, the inmates couldn't return.

County officials say they hope to have inmates back in the jail by September 10th, but the costs are piling up.

Crews are making progress on their repairs and installing a new backup generator and a new switchgear.

Between overtime for the workers and the price of additional items, along with the jail housing and transporting inmates from other counties, the bill is adding up.

County Commissioner Hood Richardson says the fund balance will cover the costs, but he still expects this to lead to tax increases for the citizens of Beaufort County next year.

"Taxpayers wouldn't see an increase until a year from now, again because we're working off of our reserves, but those reserves by statute can only go so low before we have to raise taxes," said Richardson.

Sheriff Alan Jordan told us he wishes the money being used to repair the current facility would be going toward construction on a new jail. He says even with the repairs currently being done, he's worried that more problems could continue to persist as long as they're still in what he calls an older, and overcrowded building.

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