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Sun, Oct. 20

Board approves covering inmate health care cost

ERIN TAYLOR/Miner<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->Local inmates, such as those pictured here, will have their medical expenses covered by money from the county’s contingency fund.<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 --><br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->

ERIN TAYLOR/Miner<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->Local inmates, such as those pictured here, will have their medical expenses covered by money from the county’s contingency fund.<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 --><br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->

KINGMAN - The three major cities in Mohave County got a small break on their jail fees this year, and the county had to dip into savings to pay for inmate medical care Monday.

The Board of Supervisors signed agreements with Lake Havasu City, Bullhead City and Kingman Monday to charge the cities $80.21 per day for each city inmate housed in the county jail.

Last year, the county announced that it was planning to increase the inmate per-diem rate it charged Lake Havasu City, Bullhead City and Kingman from $79 to $98.

Officials from the three cities balked at the price. The county agreed to lower the price to $92 and complete an audit of its figures. After the audit, the county lowered the price to $88 with a $65 one-time booking fee for each inmate.

The cities decided to go elsewhere. Bullhead City signed an agreement with the Mojave Tribe to house inmates in its jail. Lake Havasu City and Kingman signed agreements with La Paz County to pay $65 plus mileage to transport inmates.

The cities will still continue to use Mojave Tribe and La Paz County's jails to house long-term inmates.

At the same meeting, the Board approved a transfer of $350,000 from the county's contingency fund to cover the cost of health care charges for inmates in the jail.

The Board also approved a transfer of $118,700 from the contingency fund to the Arizona State Retirement System.

The transfer should cover the amount of money that was not contributed to county employee's retirement funds last year.

In 2012, the Legislature passed a law changing how much money state and local governments had to contribute to government employee's retirement funds from a 50-percent match to a 47-percent match. After losing a lawsuit, the Legislature reset the contributions to the original matching rate.

The county also approved a transfer of $16,986 to the Lake Havasu Justice Court to cover expenses that were not included in last year's budget.

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