(09/23/2006)
Mingo County commissioners have joined a growing number of counties that are bucking the ever increasing costs of housing inmates in the state's regional jails.

The commissioners voted not to pay the newest $3.50 increase.

Mingo County Commission President Greg Smith says this week's decision was based on an April ruling by Cabell County Circuit Judge David Pancake on jail fees in that county.

Fayette County commissioners also have relied on Pancake's ruling not to pay the extra money.

Pancake ruled that the authority had improperly raised the daily fee from 45 dollars to $48.50 because a quorum of members was not physically present when the vote was taken.

The ruling also said the agency used an unfair system to calculate the amount of the increase.

Mingo County paid more than a million dollars in regional jail fees last year.

Jail fees have continued to increase despite a declining population and statistics that say serious crimes are low in the Mountain State, making it one of the "safest places in America."


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