BSRDC board votes to give counties in good standing a break

Before voting to allow counties paying housing fees on time to receive a discount and penalizing the counties that are not, the Big Sandy Regional Detention Center board heard from representatives with Advanced Correctional Healthcare about their own woes with delinquent payments from Martin County.

The board of the Big Sandy Regional Detention Center voted last week to extend some financial help to the counties in the jail’s service region that are paying their fees on time while penalizing those that are not.

In the action, housing fees will be discounted by 10 percent for counties that are not in arrears and are paying on time. The jail currently has a lawsuit pending against Martin County for unpaid housing fees.

“This discount applies if they pay within the first 30 days. After day 31, there’s a 5 percent penalty,” board chair Daniel Castle explained.

As Castle reiterated the policy for the board, the jail’s treasurer, Pam Burgess, asked to be recognized, but was not. Burgess has, in past meetings, derided another proposed policy to offer all counties a discount while the jail board’s coffers sit above $500,000, explaining that the budget is already as constrained as possible without seeking methods to cut the jail’s revenue.

The jail’s financial struggles with Martin County were outlined again earlier in Thursday’s meeting, with representatives from Advanced Corrections Healthcare addressing the board to discuss the issue of missed payments for healthcare from Martin County.

ACH representatives said two other counties in the service region are still in good standing but payments have been coming later and later. Castle asked Martin County board member L. T. Preece to bring the issue up with Martin County, to ensure the lines of communication are intact.

Board member Zach Branham proposed that, if the jail is responsible for covering a county’s delinquency in healthcare expenses, if they could make payments that are then credited to the future as the county or counties come up with the money.

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