Darren Doyle, story:
Judge Executive Wil Cannon announced the only bid received to Edmonson County Fiscal Court for county jail service, which came from Hart County Jail at a price of $40 per inmate, per day. It's a 60% increase from the county's contract price of $25 per day/per inmate, which is $5 more than a quote given to the county back in February of this year.
Cannon said letters requesting bids went to all neighboring counties with jails which included Warren, Barren, Grayson, Hart, and Butler. He said they also asked Allen County for a bid. Hart County was the only bid received out of the six.
Not only was the bid for $40 per inmate/per day, the bid also read that there were "stipulations to be named at a later date." Cannon said it was unclear whether or not that would be good or bad for the county.
"If we pay the increase from $25 to $35, it would break the county," Cannon said. "If we pay $40, it will cripple us."
He said Hart County Jail had told him earlier this year that the cost would increase to $35, which is the same rate Jailer Israel Bergenson told the Edmonson Voice in February of 2017.
County Attorney Greg Vincent advised the court to reject the bid because of the unknown stipulations stated in the bid.
County officials have previously discussed the financial burden this places on the county. The current budget will not currently allow for this type of increase which would be somewhere around an additional $8500 per month.
In February, Cannon said that building a jail in the county would also be difficult due to the project having a multi-million dollar cost and would have to hold around 200 inmates. Since the county averages only 15-20 inmates at a time, the jail would have to be filled with federal inmates in order to keep the beds full to justify the cost. It would be unlikely that housing federal prisoners in Edmonson County would be popular with the public.
The court voted to reject the bid and the item was tabled until the next meeting.