The Cook County Board of Commissioners this week approved a contract that could bring as many as 50 prisoners to Mercer County, according to Ted Pappas, chairman of the Mercer County Board's finance committee..|
"It's my understanding that the Cook county board of commissioners did approve the appropriation of $450,000 or up to 50 prisoners to be housed in Mercer County." Mr. Pappas said. "The contact is for 12 months and either party can cancel with a 30-day notice. I would anticipate prisoners arriving by the middle of June if not sooner."
Mercer County Sheriff Tom Thompson could not be reached Friday.
Cook County's move comes just in time to stave off $50,000 a month budget cuts in the Mercer sheriff's deparment.
At a Tuesday night Mercer County Board meeting, Mr. Pappas reported that the budget committee would be recommending reducing expenses at the jail by $50,000 a month if the contract with Cook County was not as expected.
The influx of prisoners would bring the count closer to the jail's capacity .of 71 prisoners.