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Sunday, April 7, 2013 - 10:00am

More Jailers Could Mean Property Tax Hikes

Savannah-area homeowners may see their property taxes increase to help pay for more staff at the Chatham County jail.

Chatham County Sheriff Al St. Lawrence is asking to hire 94 new jailers at an annual coast of about $7.4 million. The additional staff is needed as the 1,224-bed jail expands to house more than 1,700 inmates.

County Manager Russ Abolt says adding that many positions will likely require a property tax increase "of some consequence."

The sheriff says he'll offset the cost somewhat by housing federal inmates at the jail for $70 a day. He signed a contract Tuesday with the U.S. Marshals Service. The sheriff says the contract should be worth about $1 million in revenues for the jail.

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