SKOWHEGAN (AP) — The dispute between the Somerset County Jail and the state over $280,000 in withheld payments is heating up with county threatening to take the matter to court.

The Board of Corrections voted in March to withhold the jail’s third-quarter payment of about $280,000 because the county is using revenues from the boarding of federal prisoners, in part, to pay down debt on construction of a new jail.

In response, Sheriff Barry DeLong stopped accepting out-of-county inmates, even though the jail is one of four flagship county jails statewide, created under the 2008 jail consolidation act.

The Morning Sentinel reported that Commissioner Lloyd Trafton said Monday that litigation may be the only answer. He said county residents do not want to pay taxes for inmates from other counties.

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