OGDEN -- As the Weber County Sheriff's Department waits for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement bureau to finish its review of the county jail, the jail is losing thousands of dollars.
ICE moved about 30 immigration detainees out of the jail on June 22 so it could conduct a review of the facility "to ensure it is in full compliance with the agency's stringent national detention standards," said ICE spokeswoman Lori Haley in a statement.
ICE has since finished its review, but the findings are not yet in, said Weber County Sheriff's Deputy Chief Klint Anderson. Until they are, the detainees remain at other jails. So long as they do, the jail loses the money it would have made housing them, Haley said.
ICE contracts with the jail to hold the detainees and pays the jail $55 a day per detainee, Haley said.
Given that 30 detainees had been gone for at least nine days as of July 1, that is about $14,650 in revenue the jail has not earned.
Weber County Sheriff's Lt. Mark Lowther expects ICE will have the results to them in the next 30 days, though the timetable and operation ultimately falls to ICE.
If the detainees are not returned until 30 days from now, it would mean a loss of as much as $64,350 for all 30 detainees, including the nine days that have already passed.
The jail's budget is around $25 million, including project construction costs, according to the Weber County Sheriff's Office.
Weber County Commissioner Jan Zogmaister attended a meeting with Sheriff Terry Thompson immediately after the inmates were moved out to discuss what the office might do about the shortfall.
Officials are considering reassigning staff who would have looked after the inmates to other areas of the jail, she said.
"It does prevent us from doing a layoff as a result," she said.
Lowther and Weber County Sheriff's Deputy Chief Klint Anderson said they were not sure what consequences the loss of revenue would have on the jail.
"It certainly affects us," Lowther said.
But the jail has other contracts and houses hundreds of other inmates, so it has other means of revenue, he said.
"It's not like every contract inmate we have is gone," Lowther said.
In the meantime, ICE is maintaining its contract with the jail even though the agency is not paying the facility for the time being.
ICE also contracts with Utah County Jail to house immigration detainees.
All questions to the jail were redirected to the Weber County Sheriff's Office.