The Paulding County Board of Commissioners voted for the plan last week. Though this new agreement will extend the $45 fee deadline from the original March 15 date, Dallas and Hiram will be required to pay for transportation and medical expenses plus a 10 percent fine add-on fee the county already had been receiving from the cities for each inmate.
This will give the cities time to budget for the change, said Commission Chairman David Austin.
“We are in the middle of a budget year,” he said.
Austin said the county is trying to be understanding of the cities’ financial situations.
Dallas Mayor Boyd Austin and Hiram City Manager Robbie Rokovitz both said they are still looking at other jailing options.
Austin said he still believes inmates — whether city or county — should be jailed under the same rate.
“I think the $45 is outrageous,” he said.
There is currently not a definition of what will constitute a day when it comes to charging the cities a daily fee, said jail administrator Maj. Chad Hunton.
“It is still under negotiation with the cities,” he said.
Hiram city officials met with county officials to discuss negotiations on Feb. 27 after each confirmed the meeting Feb. 19.
Rokovitz said most Hiram inmates are released on bond in the first 24 hours.
“We feel that first day should not be paid for,” he said.
The county is insisting the first day should be charged, and the last day will not have a fee, Rokovitz said. He said there are agencies the city has contacted which provide the first day free.
Austin said he has not seen anything which defines how a day is measured.
He said the fee does not take into account the cities providing their own police forces as well.
“I think we should be recognized for the higher level of service,” he said.
Rokovitz said another issue is both city and county officers are needed to book an inmate. The cities have to collect and keep the prisoners’ personal belongings, and bonding out an inmate is done at the city police departments. This should all be done where a prisoner is being jailed, Rokovitz said.
“That needs to be negotiated,” he said.