TRAVERSE CITY — Some inmates may soon find there are no vacancies in the 168-bed Grand Traverse County jail.
But that doesn't mean their bookings are canceled: the Grand Traverse County commission on Wednesday unanimously approved $70,000 in funds to lodge inmates at other county jails to prevent overcrowding.
Sheriff Tom Bensley requested the funds because the jail population has reached its highest point in four years. He said July's average daily inmate population was 169.
"The only thing we can say for sure is the population going to be higher than in the past," he said.
Commissioner Sonny Wheelock said the most important bed in the jail is an empty bed after he introduced a motion to fund boarding excess inmates elsewhere.
“We have to have those beds available,” he said.
Bensley said the funds are projected to pay the cost of boarding up to 15 inmates per day in other jails for the rest of the year.