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Kemper supervisors say budget crunch reason for layoffs at jail

By By Steve Swogetinsky/The Meridian Star
Feb. 21, 2001
DEKALB Pointing to the state budget crunch as the problem, Kemper County supervisors cut the operating budget of the Kemper-Neshoba Regional Jail and laid off four employees during their Tuesday meeting.
The jail was budgeted to hold 248 state prisoners, said acting county administrator Mike McGrevey, for which the county would be reimbursed. However, the state is only keeping 200 prisoners in Kemper County, resulting in a reimbursement shortfall.
The jail is actually budgeted for 40 employees, but has 36 at this point. That number will soon be cut to 32. McGrevey said that a check of sister state prisons in Stone County and Holmes County turned up staffs at 29 and 33 employees, respectively.
Warden Bill Jarvis said three employees would be affected, noting that one person has already resigned.
Jarvis told supervisors that he was having a problem with employees not showing up for work. He was advised that the "worst four" should be considered for the layoffs, and Jarvis agreed.
Supervisors voted 5-0 to amend the jail budget.
Power plant
In another matter, supervisors were updated on the new $200 million power plant that is in the planning stages to be built by the Tennessee Valley Authority. Ground will be broken in May, McGrevey said, and the plant should employ about 30 people. Also, construction of the plant will mean about 125 construction jobs for a year.
One big plus in this will be the nearly $1.2 million to be spent in improvements for the water system in DeKalb.
Steve Swogetinsky is regional editor of The Meridian Star. E-mail him at sswogetinsky@themeridianstar.com.

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