TEXARKANA, Ark. -- John Haltom, chairman of Miller County's Juvenile Detention Center committee, he feels confident the Center is going to survive.
County officials have said for awhile they do not have the budget to keep the Center afloat without help. They have put aside money to keep in running for three more months.
They say the city has a contractual obligation to help pay for the Juvenile Detention Center, which currently costs $1 million a year to operate. At any given time it holds 10 to 15 juvenile offenders -- most of them city inmates.
But Haltom said at Monday's committee meeting he feels positive Texarkana, Arkansas, will help share the cost.
"The city hasn't talked yet to us about helping with the JDC's cost, but I understand that their city manager, Mr. (Jay) Ellington, is currently putting together a proposal of something that could help this (a cost-share arrangement) worked out, Haltom said. "Right now, we are still supporting the center's full operation for juveniles that come from the city as well as from other areas outside our county -- but I believe the city is going to work with us."
As for the county's adult jail, Miller County Chief Deputy Mark Lewis delivered a report showing that lock-up fees being paid by the city to the county, to hold municipal misdemeanor inmates, at a $38 rate, per inmate, per day (along with city felony inmates being held at a $50 rate, per inmate, per day) is helping the county jail pay for itself.
Solar Farm Update
As for work on the county's solar farm, which the county bought eight acres of land for, last year, (off South State Line Avenue) Miller County Judge Administrative Assistant Carl Jenkins said $76,000 has been budgeted to establish an electrical interconnection between the farm and the Southwest Electric Power Company.
Jenkins added that the county will have the land cleared for solar panel installation by mid-February.