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Lee County Boosts Jail Rate

Feb 6, 2013

Lee County wants to collect more money from the people who use its jail the most.

The Lee County Board of Supervisors

The Board of Supervisors has agreed to increase the daily room and board rate for inmates from $25 to $30.

Sheriff Jim Sholl says the rate is based on the actual cost of housing inmates.

He says the last time it was increased was ten years ago when it jumped from $10 to $25.

Several supervisors questioned whether this increase was large enough.

Vice Chairman Ernie Schiller says operating an efficient jail should not limit what the county can charge inmates.

Sholl says he will find out the maximum Lee County can charge and present that information to the supervisors.

He says several nearby counties in Iowa charge at $60/day.

Sholl says this money can be hard to collect because some offenders do not have the money available for court costs.

Meanwhile, the Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing during its meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 19 to discuss how to pay for an expansion of the jail.


At the same time, it appears Lee County's elected leaders will see their salaries increase next year, but not as much as anticipated.

The Lee County Compensation Board has already recommended 5% raises for the county's ten elected leaders.

The supervisors have the final say, though, and they have reached a consensus to offer 3% raises.

A formal vote is expected next week.

The raises would extend to deputies because their pay is based on the pay for their corresponding elected leader.

The total cost to the county would be about $48,000.