SUPERIOR – Mineral County commissioners say the budget and staffing issues that plagued the county jail and Sheriff’s Office in October are shaking out with some positive developments this spring.
The jail reopened about a month ago with full detention center and dispatch staff with six of each. At one point, the county was without a jailer or a sheriff and closed down the jail in late October after staffing issues led several employees to resign or walk off the job.
Mineral County Commissioner Roman Zylawy says they eased back into their operations and are slowly building up their capacity. The jail hits capacity at 24 beds, but can fit 28 if necessary.
It was closed for about four months before reopening in early March with all positions filled, as well as with a new administrative position to oversee the jailers and dispatchers. The jail and dispatch were previously overseen by the sheriff.
Former Sheriff Tom Bauer resigned from the position after the jail closed due to safety concerns over the inadequate number of detention officers.
Former Undersheriff Mike Boone says he’s looking forward to several years as Mineral County Sheriff. He was appointed to the position after filling in following Bauer’s resignation and was the only candidate who filed this election year.
The jail is slowly building up the number of out of county inmates to help und operations, according to Zylawy. The county makes about $70 a day per head.
“Well, it’s only been one month so I haven’t looked at any numbers [it’s] too early to tell at this point, but if we continue to get more outside paying inmates then, yes, it should start to look more on the balance sheet a little bit better,” he said.
County commissioners created the new administrative position by using money that was saved by not filling an empty deputy position.
Sheriff Mike Boone is applying for a grant to fund their deputy position and is working to fill the empty undersheriff position in order to bring the Sheriff’s Office staff back up to seven law enforcement officers.