DANDRIDGE (WATE) -- The new Jefferson County Justice Center is almost complete, but now county leaders have to come up with the money to staff it.
The facility will be the heart of the county's court system and jail. It has taken five years to complete.
The new state-of-the-art facility can house 160 prisoners.
Chief Deputy Bud McCoig say it's much needed. "Were running 140 people right now in a 50 bed facility."
The sheriff's department wanted to hire 53 new employees to staff the jail, but county commission only approved 21 new employees.
"We're going to operate it with what the county has given us to operate it," McCoig says. "We have to."
The Justice Center Committee, made up of a group of county commissioners, is scheduled to meet Thursday to approve spending more than $180,000 for new computers and software for the sheriff's department and furniture for the courtrooms.
The county will have to dig into the reserve fund to cover the cost.
County Mayor Alan Palmieri says there were operational and equipment costs that were never factored into the original project.
"We are over on the budget for the Justice center probably around $2 million," Palmieri said. "County commission has indicated that they want to hold the line as much as possible. They've come up with was they can make cuts so it doesn't go over any further."
Palmieri says that's why hiring more jail staff will have to wait. "The sheriff said he was willing to move into the facility with the amount of man power he was provided. Then after a length of time, maybe six months or three months, he can come back and revisit it. If there is need for additional staffing he would make the request."
Palmieri says any additional costs will have to wait until the next June at the earliest. That's when commissioners will vote on the years budget.
He says the justice center will open February 5.
The current and much smaller jail only employs 14 people. If county commission would have granted the sheriff department's original request of 53 new employees for the new jail it would of increased staff almost five-fold.