NILES, Ohio (WKBN) – The City of Niles will be dealing with another financial problem once it gets a $30,000 bill for housing inmates at the county jail.
Mayor Tom Scarnecchia doesn’t know how the city will pay for the bill that has been accumulating for almost four years.
“If we’re going to get a bill, and they’re talking approximately $30,000, and we pay that bill, that has to come out of the general fund where we don’t have any money.”
In a two-year contract signed in July of 2012, the city was supposed to receive an itemized statement from the Sheriff’s Department each month. It charged Niles $58.75 per city prisoner each day those inmates were housed, to be paid by the city within 30 days. According to Niles officials, they never received a bill.
“This was the sheriff’s responsibility to invoice us and he didn’t,” Scarnecchia said.
“Four years is a long time not to get a bill and for someone not to recognize that,” said Commissioner Frank Fuda.
Fuda says he would like to gather all Niles officials together to discuss a payment plan for the city.
“In this case, we know they don’t have the money but we’ll probably set up some type of plan so that it won’t hurt them as drastically as it can,” he said.
Several phone calls made to Sheriff Tom Altiere for comment were not returned Thursday, but Fuda says he wants to get to the bottom of what happened.
“We’ll look into finding out why it happened and who is responsible, really.”