KANAWHA COUNTY, WV (WOWK) — Kanawha County’s bill to house inmates at the South Central Regional Jail for May 2022 was $290,325, a 21% increase over May 2021.

The Kanawha County Commission announced the cost of the bill Wednesday, saying it is a $50,000 increase from May 2021.

They say the average yearly cost for Kanawha County is around $3.5 million and is trending upwards.

The Commission says each county in West Virginia pays the daily cost of housing inmates in State Regional Jails, which is putting a strain on counties’ public safety funding.

Commissioners in the press release called on the West Virginia Legislature saying that the State should pay the cost of housing inmates.

Commissioner Lance Wheeler said he is asking the Legislature to consider providing public safety services that local governments provide, like paying to house inmates.

Commissioner Ben Salango says that counties have already stopped paying jail bills due to the increases.