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Falls Church, Arlington Agree to Size of Outstanding Jail Bill

The City of Falls Church and Arlington County issued a joint press statement this afternoon announcing that the issue of the outstanding sum owed by Falls Church to Arlington for services at the Arlington Detention Center has been resolved. The statement acknowledges an error in an outside contractor’s software resulted in a huger overbilling of Falls Church, in excess of $2 million, and that it was been corrected so that it is projected by both government entities that the amount Falls Church will owe to Arlington in the coming fiscal year is $123,000.

This removes an enormous $2 million burden from the coming fiscal year budget deliberations in Falls Church, especially given that the overall size of the budget is barely over $60 million and the School Board’s requested portion of that share approaches $30 million.

The text of the joint statement by Arlington County Manager Barbara Donnellan and Falls Church City Manager Wyatt Shields reads as follows:

“After a careful review of the County’s revised bill by the City of Falls Church staff, County staff and the Sheriff, the County discovered that an outside contractor’s software error had resulted in an over count of the number of Falls Church prisoners housed in the Arlington County detention facility. The contractor has corrected the error. Arlington County regrets the error and the difficulties that it posed for the City as it develops its FY 2012 Budget.

“The County and the City now agree on the average number of Falls Church prisoners that were housed in the Arlington County jail, and on the number of City of Falls Church prisoners that was undercounted by the County in FY 2010, and have agreed on a FY12 Projection, based on prior year averages.

“The additional expense ($123,000) for prisoners housed in FY 2010 will be reconciled according to normal practices, and billed to the City of Falls Church in FY 2012

“The County and the City will renegotiate the judicial and public safety services contract this year, to reflect changes in technology, procedures and services that have occurred since 1989, when the City of Falls Church first contracted with Arlington County to provide the City with judicial and public safety services.

“The Arlington County Sheriff’s Department will now report monthly on Falls Church prisoners. The report and applicable prisoner data will be shared with the Falls Church Sheriff for verification.”

 

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