Quorum Court approves funds for new sheriff’s office building

Money to finish the construction of phase one of the new Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office was approved Monday night by the county quorum court.

Without dissent, the county’s legislative body approved the transfer of a total of $105,884.93 from various funds into the construction. When phase one is completed, it will allow the Criminal Investigation Division to move from its present location in the 100 block of Main Street to the new building.

Specifically, the ordinance called for transferring $20,884.93 from proceeds from the sale of the old county jail to the department of correction, $15,000 from mortgage revenue bonds, and $70,000 from the jail operations fund.

Before the full court meeting, the ordinance was approved by both the Public Safety/Emergency Services and Finance Committees, but not before Justice of the Peace Conley Byrd had a couple of questions, the first about the source of the mortgage bonds, the second about whether the sheriff would have enough money to operate the jail for the rest of the year with $70,000 being taken out.

In answer to the first question, Finance Committee Chairman Herman Ginger said the mortgage revenue bonds can be used for any department and “we’ve agreed to let the sheriff have it to complete phase one of the building.

“The sheriff understands that he is pulling money that is not necessarily his,” Ginger said.

Regarding Byrd’s second question about the jail operation fund, County Treasurer Elizabeth Rinchuso said those funds are not used during the year, but allowed to accumulate and are transferred to the proper account at the beginning of the year.

“We used some of them two years ago when we started the project,” Rinchuso said. “We also used some of the mortgage bond money.”

Sheriff Gerald Robinson said his department would have sufficient money to operate the jail for the rest of the year and would not require any additional appropriation from the quorum court.