Smith County 2014 budget headed for approval - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Smith County 2014 budget headed for approval


The Smith County Commissioners Court is getting ready to approve the county budget for the 2014 fiscal year. 

A public hearing on the budget was held at 5:30 Tuesday night at the Smith County Courthouse Annex in Tyler.

People were encouraged to come to the hearing to ask questions or state any concerns they have with the budget. The only person who spoke at the hearing was Tyler defense attorney Buck Files. 

Files says he is worried the Smith County Jail is understaffed and needs more attention. 

"I have been in the low risk facility, low and medium risk facility, on a number of occasions where we are incarcerating 400 plus people and not had any supervisor on duty. This is, to me, basically insane," says Files. 

Smith County Sheriff Larry Smith says his department is meeting all of the required state jail standards. He says recent jail renovations required a redistribution of jail employees. 

The new budget allows for ten more jailers to be hired. Sheriff smith says that will help even out his employees' workload. 

"I believe we are going to be able to do this in stages to not have to have personnel just sitting here waiting to bring people into the jail because it's not going to be online as far as bringing inmates in to the new part of the central jail until probably the latter part of August of 2014."

The Smith County 2014 fiscal budget will be finalized by the Smith County Commissioners Court next Tuesday. 

The budget will go into effect on October 1st.

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