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Hart County Jail Paid Off

The Hart County Jail held a “note burning” to celebrate paying the jail’s mortgage bonds off five years early, avoiding over $225,000 in interest costs. Jailer Israel Bergenson,center left, and Judge/Executive Joe Choate, center right, are seen burning a mock/made-up mortgage. Photo/Hart County Fiscal Court Facebook.

By Jane Marsh

Reporter, Hart County News-Herald


The Hart County Fiscal Court met at 9 a.m. on Thursday, March 24 on the second floor of the Hart County Courthouse.

First, Gary Gardner gave a report on the first solid waste free Saturday, stating that Hart County Solid Waste took in 111 loads of garbage, filled two 40 cubic foot bins, and two thirty-foot roll offs. They also took in metal, which they plan to sell.

Next, Judge/Executive Joe Choate spoke on the note burning held before the meeting.

At 8 a.m., a note burning was held at the Hart County Jail. The event was to celebrate the jail being paid off five years early. For the event, Fiscal Court members and employees of the jail gathered at the jail. Judge Choate and Jailer Israel Bergenson held up a mock mortgage, which Jailer Bergenson then set aflame. Judge Choate said that by paying off the jail five years early, the county had saved over $225,000 of interest alone.

“…With the court and with Israel and the leadership, we made it happen, but the biggest thing was his employees, you know the jail staff and their dedication to the county and what they do,” Choate elaborated. “We’re just very blessed, and it it’s a really special day…”

At the note burning, Bergenson also expressed appreciation for the previous jailers, William Cartmill and Keith Riordan, who hired some of the deputies that are still with him today. “So when you take the three jailers that’s been here, you take all of their top people and put em’ together, that’s what gets us to where we’re at today. I appreciate each and every one of ‘em…” he said.

Bergenson gave the jail report during the fiscal court meeting, stating that the total population of inmates was 195. The total number of paying inmates was 152. There were 42 class Ds, 40 class Cs, 2 alternative sentence, 12 controlled intake, 4 parole violators, and 14 prisoner transports. The total included 37 Edmonson County inmates and 44 Hart County inmates.

Other items approved during the Fiscal Court meeting included:

  • Approving the Hart County Jail 2022-2023 budget;
  • Approving to appoint Caralyne Pennington to the Hart County Industrial Board to complete Herb Keys’ appointment (ending in December of 2023);
  • Approving to apply for the Hazard Mitigation Grant

The next fiscal court meeting will be held Thursday, April 7, 2022, at 9 a.m. on the second floor of the Hart County Courthouse.



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