Friday, January 6, 2012

Contract extension questionable on jail maintenance

Waco – The six-month contract extension for CEC to operate the downtown jail, which was signed just before the end of the year, is questionable due to a stipulation that requires the facility be kept up to state jail standards.

According to the $40,000 per month agreement, “matters beyond the control of the parties have created a need to revise the arrangement...”

So, the parties entered into an agreement to move all the federal prisoners housed there to the Jack Harwell Detention Center on Highway 6, and in return, CEC would pay McLennan County a $40,000 per month “fixed revenue stream” “until such time as the Down Jail is re-occupied...”

A key component of the agreement provides that “the Operator shall maintain the Texas Commission on Jail Standards certification for the Downtown Jail and continue to routinely maintain and insure the Downtown Jail Facility at no cost to the County as required and in accordance with the standards called for under its currently existing Operation and Management Agreement for the Downtown Jail.”

In discussions before the Court leading up to the extension expiration date of Dec. 31, 2011, no one was really sure of the provisions of the contract, though it been extended in June for a six-month period.

The same stipulation applied regarding the jail standards commission requirements for the 6-month period preceding the June extension.

Commissioner Kelly Snell addressed his concerns and tried to get answers to his questions throughout the contract extension period.

One key concern of his was just who would be responsible for maintaining the jail at commission standards, and at whose expense.

He obtained a copy of the jail operation extension agreement late Friday afternoon, Jan. 6, and e-mailed it to The Legendary an hour before quitting time.

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