Clark County Detention Center probably will get money to hire 30 more corrections officers this year.
During a preliminary budget hearing on Wednesday, county commissioners appeared keen on the idea of allocating the jail an additional $4 million for staffing to cut down on overtime costs and relieve overworked employees.
“Folks are saying they can’t do the overtime anymore. They’re tired. They want to stay home,” Commissioner Marilyn Kirkpatrick said. “That’s not good public safety.”
The money would be distributed as part of the county budget for fiscal year 2019, which starts July 1.
Preliminary budget projections show the county expects revenues of $1.38 billion for its general fund, a $65.1 million increase from the current year.
Property taxes are expected to bring in about $307 million, a 4.2 percent increase. That growth is slower than properties’ assessed values, which are projected to increase by 11 percent, because tax caps.
Like last year, the county is budgeting to spend more than it takes in. The proposed budget calls for spending $1.42 billion from the general fund.
Half of that money will be earmarked for public safety, including the Metropolitan Police Department and jail operations. Metro would receive $3.8 million more than its expected operation costs and would create 36 full-time and 17 part-time positions.
University Medical Center would continue to receive its $31 million allocation under the proposed budget.
Commissioners also plan to deliberate how to spend $4.7 million to add county jobs. They have received requests to add 234 positions, totaling $20.1 million.
Public Defender Phil Kohn told commissioners Wednesday that his office needs more attorneys.
“As we add more police officers, you know we’re adding more arrests,” he said. “I have to have those lawyers to defend those people.”