Fiscal Court Approves Opioid Settlement Agreement, Presented Proposed Jail Budget

At a special called meeting Friday morning, Caldwell County Fiscal Court magistrates approved opioid settlement agreements and were presented with the proposed jail budget for 2024, which includes a slight increase from the current budget.

Judge-Executive Kota Young requested magistrates to give him the authorization to sign all opioid settlement agreements received by the county.

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Sheriff Don Weedman

During reports, Sheriff Don Weedman explained that he and Judge Young along with several others recently listened to the opioid settlement presentation and they will be getting this funding over a period of time. Weedman said he’s interested in how this can be applied to this community and what the sheriff’s office can do to promote this program.

click to download audioSheriff Weedman suggested that they could possibly use advertising and public awareness campaigns as a means of providing guidance to people, while District 4 Magistrate Jeff Simms added that Attorney General Daniel Cameron fielded several questions about this issue at a conference this week.

click to download audioThe magistrates unanimously approved the opioid settlement agreements and Judge Young was authorized to sign all associated current and future documents.

Jailer Wilie Harper

In other new business, Caldwell County Jailer Willie Harper presented the proposed 2024 total budget of over $1.16 million, which he noted as an increase of approximately $2,480 from the 2022-23 year. He indicates the budget includes payroll for 13 employees this year, but they currently have 11 of those positions filled. He tells Your News Edge they are currently looking to hire one female and one male deputy.

Magistrate Simms and Judge Young commended Harper for managing the jail’s budget with a minimal increase.

click to download audioDistrict 2 Magistrate Jeff Boone agreed.

click to download audioYoung added that the proposed budget is something they can review and approve later in the year.

During reports, magistrates heard updates from Caldwell County Emergency Management Director Joey McCaslin about the new weather sirens installed, along with an update from Caldwell County Clerk Jennifer Watson-Hale about e-poll books and other election equipment. Your News Edge will have more details about these updates next week.