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Clay Discusses Inmate Housing Options With Putnam Sheriffs Dept

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Clay Discusses Inmate Housing Options With Putnam Sheriffs Dept

The Clay County Sheriff’s Department has reached out to Putnam County about housing inmates in the expanded Putnam County Jail.

Clay County Sheriff Brandon Boone said he spoke with Putnam County Jail Administrator Tim Nash about entering into a long-term contract to house Clay County inmates.

“Even if we started a jail today, we’re two or three years, 24 months at least from building,” Boone said. “At times, we struggle finding counties and facilities to house our inmates for us which sometimes forces us to try to get them released from custody.”

Boone said Clay County currently pays some $200,000 per year to house 40 inmates in neighboring counties. Boone said Nash was unable to agree to anything right now because of a potential arrangement with the federal government.

Boone said he is exploring all options after construction bids came in some $11 million over the proposed budget last month.

“I think the mayor and myself will potentially reach out to some other counties that are building a new jail,” Boone said. “If, obviously, we can’t move forward with construction and the price doesn’t move down, then we’ve got to look and come up with another solution for our problem.”

Boone said he and Clay County Mayor Dale Reagan will meet with the Director of the Tennessee Corrections Institute William Wall to discuss options. Boone said Clay County citizens have begun to ask about the money they pay for the wheel tax. Boone said that some $1 million has been collected through wheel taxes that go toward jail operations as construction has not begun yet. Boone said it costs some $55 per day to house inmates in Robertson County, over two hours away.

“The money is accounted for,” Boone said. “People obviously want to see progress and dirt moved, but there’s no way Clay County can afford the $18.9 million.”

The contractor and architect are working on value engineering to find ways to cut costs and find areas where they can find ways to save. Boone said the architect will attend the Clay County Court meeting on November 27 to give an update.


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