Regional jail faces budget concerns, future audit

Gwendolyn Holliday Staff Reporter gjoseph@civitasmedia.com

February 25, 2014

HAZARD—Concern was raised Tuesday at the Perry County Fiscal Court regular called meeting about expenditures at the Kentucky River Regional Jail (KRRJ).

During the approval of the second quarter report there was a question raised about two large transfers into the KRRJ fund in the amounts of $165,000 and $155,000 within just a few days.

“Most of that was insurance, liability insurance,” Perry County Judge-Executive Denny Ray Noble said. “Part of that gets refunded through Knott County, 25 percent of it.”

Since KRRJ is a regional jail for both Perry and Knott counties, Knott County funds 25 percent of the jail expenses.

“They were a year behind and they were going to fine us $12,000 and I called KACo (the Kentucky Association of Counties) and they dropped the fine,” Noble said.

The jail is insured by KACo, which costs $175,000 per year. This same bill will be due again on July 1 at the start of the next fiscal year.

Randy Bailey, Perry County Judge-Executive Pro-Tem, stated that Tim Kilburn, KRRJ administrator, was under budget on what they actually took in for state prisoners. Bailey went on to say they changed the health insurance for the employees, which saved about $30,000.

“It (the insurance) was in his budget to pay it, but he didn’t have the funds to pay it,“ Noble said.

Bailey explained that the cost of food was one of the main reasons the jail was over budget, adding later that Kilburn had budgeted for $200,000 and they have already spent over $150,000 with half the year remaining.

Noble proposed that the fiscal court hire an independent auditor to audit the KRRJ to try to create a more realistic budget, with approval from Knott County.

“We pay $23.50 a day per prisoner that’s housed out of Perry County in that jail and that’s supposed to cover expenses, costs, and all that, and then we turn around and have to pay the insurance,” Noble said.

The motion was unanimously approved to hire an auditor.

When contacted, Kilburn said he was not concerned about the upcoming audit.

“It’s something we do every two years, so it’s nothing new,” he said.

Gwendolyn Holliday can be reached at 606-436-5771, or on Twitter @HazardHerald.