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Jail sees late-season deficit

By Staff | Nov 4, 2016

The Heart of America Correctional & Treatment Center saw a late season deficit in September.

HACTC Adminstrator Mike Graner informed the Pierce County Board of County Commissioners Tuesday morning that a late payment of $23,698.13 for Workforce Safety Insurance premiums helped push September into a deficit of $5,129.68.

In September, the facility received $235,515.34 in ordinary income, but incurred $238,108.11 in ordinary expenses and $2,536.91 in depreciation.

Graner said despite a September deficit, the year-to-date profit is $56,882.

Graner informed the board about the Department of Corrections’ changes to jail standards, including a regulation that if the facility houses female offenders, a female officer must be on the floor. Graner learned of the changes to the standards after attending a fall jail administrators meeting in October.

“I don’t know how it’s going to play out,” Graner said. “But it could prove to be a difficult task.”

Graner and the board discussed correctional officer starting pay. Per the results of a salary study done by Galen Cariveau of Cariveau Workforce Services, at 95 percent of market rate, officers at HACTC who have not undergone corrections training have a starting pay of $15.92 an hour. After training, the starting rate moves up to $16.13 an hour. Graner shared starting wages for corrections officers at the Lake Region Law Enforcement Center and in Barnes, Stutsman and Walsh counties.

“The concern still is for certified staff to move to $16.13 from $15.92 doesn’t seem worth it,” Graner said.

The board advised Graner to see what the costs would be to increase officer pay after completing training, and to see if HACTC would have funds to cover the costs.

Graner informed the board the average inmate population for October was 123 inmates; the year-to-date prisoner boarding cost for the county was $152,075; and there was one resignation and one new hire at the facility.

(sub.) Other actions

– The board approved a motion to allow County Auditor-Treasurer Karin Fursather to issue checks to general election workers.

– Jessica Tagestad, of Wold Engineering, met with the board to discuss county road projects.

– Sheriff Josh Siegler informed the board there were 55 calls for the month of October; the new vehicle for the department was in; and deputies Russell Anthony and Darren Heidbreder were sent to the Cannonball area for two days to assist other law enforcement agencies during the protest against the proposed Dakota Access pipeline.

– The board approved the October meeting minutes, bills, financial statements and treasurer’s checks.

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