BOINFAY - Out of a request for $250,000 for upgrades to the Holmes County Jail, state legislators ended the 2019 session with an approval just $50,000 shy of the request.
The $91.1 billion FY 2019-20 state budget included $200,000 for repairs at the jail.
"While we had hoped to get the entire $250,000 we initially requested, we are thrilled the Legislature appropriated $200,000 for this project," Holmes County Commission Chairman Clint Erickson said in a statement. "I know this was a hard fought battle for these funds and we were thankful for the tireless efforts of Senator Gainer, Rep. Drake and our consulting firm Liberty Partners of Tallahassee which employs two of our own from Holmes County - Tim Parson and Ethan Merchant."
The House’s initial funding was $100,000 and the Senate was at zero. Through the appropriations process, however, the funding was increased to $200,000, a news release stated.
"The immediate repairs needed at the jail are critical to ensure the safety of inmates, jail employees and the general public," Holmes County Sheriff John Tate said in a statement. "We could not have gone another year without these repairs - many of which were exacerbated by damage from Hurricane Michael."
The Holmes County Board of County Commissioners had also hoped for $2.2 million to construct a new housing unit at the jail, as the jail is currently porous and experiencing overcrowding. However, now that the budgeting session has closed, and the county has walked away with the $200,000 for repairs, elected officials now look to Gov. DeSantis to sign off on the item.