Commentary

Milam to house inmates from Coryell County

The sheriff’s department and Milam County Commissioners Court are pleased to announce we have entered into an interlocal cooperative agreement with Coryell County to house all inmates that are “ beyond the capacity of the Coryell County Jail” for the next five years.

The agreement may be renewed annually following the five-year agreement by mutual agreement of the parties.

The per-diem rate for detention services will be $43 per inmate per day for the first three years and $45 for the final two years of the agreement.

We expect to house about 40 inmates on average in the early going. As Coryell County Judge John Firth put it, we see this as a perfect fit for both counties. This allows Milam County to run our jail operation much more efficiently at nearer capacity for a long period of time while Coryell County avoids having to go through an expensive building program to add onto their facilities at a time when building costs are prohibitive.

Judge Firth explained that what sold him on Milam County was the excellent reputation of our facility as a first class operation.

He cited the fact that our facility had passed the last two inspections by the State Jail Commission without a single violation of state codes being cited, which is unheard of.

When I quoted him our average medical cost per inmate of about $4 per day, he explained that this was almost half of what they had been experiencing.

Finally our per-diem cost quote was lower as well. This agreement with Coryell County will put us back on track with the original objective of those who planned and approved the new jail facility here, that being that the income provided by the housing of prisoners in the excess capacity of the new jail would help pay for the facility.

Estimated net annual income to Milam County should be in the $300,000 to $500,000 range (or more) depending on the number of inmates they have available.

The commissioners and I commend Sheriff David Greene and his jail staff headed by Jail Administrator Doug Veach for first of all maintaining a first class efficient jail operation that enabled us to attract this deal, and secondly for their willingness to take on this added work load that will not only provide a significant service to Coryell County, but also be a huge financial benefit for the tax payers of Milam County.

If you think about it, this deal has the potential of having the equivalent financial impact of a 2 to 3 cent increase in ad valorem taxes.

dbarkemeyer@milamcounty.net


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2012-04-12 digital edition



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