Springfield City Leaders Working to Reduce New Budget Estimates for New Greene County Jail

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Springfield city leaders are actively working to reduce new budget estimations for the new Greene County Jail.

Currently, it’s over budget by $40 million, but these are just temporary numbers.

We’ve reported in the past voters approved a half-cent sales tax for $59 million that goes in the county’s general fund.

One major feature that money goes towards is the new jail.

However, after a special project team was re-interviewed this month, which assesses the needs and wants of the jail, it’s put the building’s budget up to a hundred a $4 million.

We also learned today that number was actually higher a few weeks ago.

Originally the estimated cost was up to a hundred and $44 million well over double the original budget.
    
KOLR10 talked to both Greene County Budget Officer Jeff Scott and County Commissioner Lincoln Hough today.

Both men said the scope of the project has gotten larger after a fresh look at what it will take to effectively run the jail, from new numbers released last week.

Finance leaders have looked in several areas to widdle the cost down.

One idea is to reduce the number of beds and downsize the first phase of jail construction leaving two unfilled floors.

Leaders have considered cutting jail staff hiring over 20 years but it seems the county doesn’t think it can cut correctional officers.

Also, a parking garage may be eliminated.

Both Hough and Scott say they hope the jail project will be re-evaluated to focus on the real needs of the jail and get that jail back on budget.

Hough says Greene County simply doesn’t have any extra money to spare, as the leaders struggle to balance budgets year to year already.

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