Medical costs, fewer boarders at jail concern officials

NORWICH – Even though Chenango County earned record revenues last year from boarding in out-of-county prisoners, officials are cautious about using the surplus to make repairs at the six-year-old Public Safety Facility.

The cost of inmates’ medical bills – with one recently chalking up more than $15,000 in locally-provided mental health care – is of further concern, as is a lower number of guest prisoners currently incarcerated.

Chenango County Sheriff Ernest Cutting said he was concerned about meeting this year’s earnings projections for boarders. Revenues in 2011 were $851,000 versus $562,000 in 2010. 2012’s budget expectations are for $650,000.

“2011 was an outstanding year, right up around the highest we ever got. .... But only three times in our short history of doing this have we made more than $350,000,” Cutting said in an interview for The Evening Sun’s Progress edition.

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