FARMINGTON — Franklin County Sheriff Scott Nichols Sr. updated commissioners Tuesday on the Maine Board of Corrections action June 17 to reduce the jail’s operating budget by $100,000.

Nichols and commission Chairman Fred Hardy of New Sharon went to the Board of Corrections to request a new transport van to replace a 7-year-old one with high mileage and rust.

The board denied the request and told them to take it out of the jail’s $400,000 or so reserve, Nichols said.

The Board of Corrections had also asked the county to give another $100,000 to the state to help run other jails. County taxpayers raise $1.6 million for the jail annually, which is the cap developed in 2008 by the state for the consolidated jail system.

Nichols said he and Hardy asked the board to produce a law that the county had to pay the money from its reserve. It is legal for the county to save money in a jail reserve.

When the Board of Corrections couldn’t produce the law, they reduced the Franklin County jail’s original operational budget by $100,000 after Hardy and Nichols left the meeting, he said.

The move increases the annual payment to $730,576 but does not increase the amount taxpayers need to raise.

Nichols said he was assured it is a one-time adjustment to help the state through the 2014-15 financial shortfall.

Nine of the 12 jails who receive operational support distributions had the amount they were to receive reduced. The two other jails that had a mission change in 2009 will not have to increase payments. Franklin County Detention Center in Farmington became a 72-hour holding facility when the state took over the county jail system.

Nichols told commissioners that his concern is what happens in 10 months when he has a shortfall. The worst-case scenario, he said, is the jail would be closed and become just an intake center for arrestees.

Nichols said he is hoping that with the reduction in travel time as well as a reduction in overtime, unless Somerset County Jail in Madison stops taking other jails inmates again, that they will be able to live within the reduced budget without coming to commissioners to spend more of the reserve.

This year, they are looking at having about $80,000 left over but they still need to buy a new transport van and other items, he said.

Nichols said he was originally told by the Board of Corrections that everyone was going to feel the pain of the state’s shortfall but it does not appear to be true. Some jails were not affected by the shortfall and some did not have to pay in more money.

It costs about $1.1 million to operate the jail annually, Nichols said.

Commissioner Hardy said it is up to the three commissioners if they want to pay the additional $100,000. He would not be in favor of sending the state more money to prop up the consolidated jail system, he said. It is up to the state to fund the shortfall, he said.

“It is grossly unfair,” Hardy said.

He also said he didn’t trust the state’s word that this would be a one-time adjustment.

Hardy also accused the Board of Corrections of not being very friendly to Franklin County.

No vote was taken.

Commissioner Gary McGrane said the county would not go back to the taxpayers for more money. There is money to cover the cost of the van, he said.

“We can only spend (the reserve money) on corrections. It cannot go back to the taxpayers,” he said, because the state capped the amount taxpayers raise. Otherwise, the county would not request taxpayers to raise more than necessary, he said.

Other jails are feeling the pain of the shortfall, he said.

“The system is not designed to make everybody happy,” McGrane said.

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