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Polk County Enterprise - Local News

Copyright 2011 - Polk County Publishing Company


County goes courting for proposals for IAH jail



LIVINGSTON — Commissioners voted to advertise a request for proposals related to the operation and management of the IAH Detention Center since the existing contract is set to expire in December. The vote came after a closed executive session with the attorney consulting with the county on contract matters present. IAH is currently operated by Community Education Centers Inc. Construction was financed with Certificates of Obligation issued through the IAH Public Facility Corporation, and the county has no obligation to repay any portion of that debt, according to County Judge John Thompson. According to the fiscal year 2012 budget, revenue based on the per diem occupancy of the facility will generate $1.35 million in annual revenue. An additional $150,000 in revenue is anticipated from inmate telephone usage. Prospective contractors will have until 10 a.m. Monday, Nov. 21 to submit proposals which will be scored in a special called Commissioner’s Court meeting at 1:30 p.m. Nov. 21. The court expects to vote on the contract during its regular meeting on Nov. 22. In Sunday’s edition of the Enterprise, a report on the agenda for Tuesday’s meeting mistakenly described one of the items planned for the executive session. Commissioners met with District Attorney Lee Hon in a closed session to discuss contemplated litigation, but it was unrelated to IAH. No action was taken related to that discussion following the closed session. Dunbar Gym Renovations Engineer Pat Oates of Goodwin-Lasiter reviewed bids received for 2008 Ike Disaster Recover Package No. 3 that would renovate the Dunbar Gym to allow it to be used as an emergency shelter when needed. Six bids were received from among the 30 contractors in the region who were contacted about the project, in addition to the request for bids published in the newspaper. “The best bid was for $639,100 from Berry and Clay of Rusk, who built the Livingston City Hall,” Oates said. Their bid was lower than those submitted by J.E. Kingham Construction Company of Nacogdoches and Centerline Construction Services of Cypress. The project will include major renovations to the kitchen area that will allow food to be prepared and served and a pretty exhaustive bathroom renovation, according to Oates. The area that was once the locker room facility for Dunbar High School will be brought up to date. All doors and windows will have to be replaced and the entrance upgraded to meet requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Overtime approved The court voted unanimously to approve payment of overtime to maintenance department employees who put in extra hours to move offices into the Judicial Center when the building was completed. “After several events, we came up with a policy that allows the court to approve payment of overtime salaries when staff accrues hours due to extraordinary circumstances,” Thompson said. “We hoped we would only have to use it for one of a kind events, but hurricanes have been in twos and threes. In this case, the money is in the line item of the current year’s budget and will not require a transfer of funds and meets all criteria of the policy.” At the request of Pct. 1 Commissioner Bob Willis, Commissioners rejected offers to purchase foreclosed properties in River Lake Estates, but accepted purchase offers for properties in Wild Country, and the Dunbar Addition.


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