Putnam County is facing staffing shortages now and will also have to address increased staffing needs with the current expansion.
Sheriff Eddie Farris said original CTAS estimates for the expanded facility called for a staff of about 75. Farris said now it appears that number is closer to about 100.
“They’re taking into consideration not only the addition to the facility but we’ve also been short the last year or two in our jail,” Farris said. “And I’ve just been waiting and not approaching the commission knowing this day would come when we would have to staff the new jail addition.”
Farris said the CTAS estimate may be a bit high, but that the staffing is a fine line. Farris said he wanted to be transparent with county leaders about the possible needs.
“The county certainly can afford and if not we never would have agreed and I wouldn’t have proposed to build the facility to start with,” Farris said. “(…) It may very well take a tax increase, they knew that from the beginning and so did I. It’s one of those things that we have not been accredited in our jail facility part since even before I took over as Sheriff and that is really due to nothing other than the number of inmates we account for and have in our facility.”
Farris said the next steps will be to continue crunching numbers and tweaking plans as the jail addition gets closer to opening. He said the next hurdle to tackle will be finding the people to physically staff the jail.