Two contracts are on the table right now in Taylor County for its jail to house extra inmates, and it could mean thousands in extra income.
The "Taco Times" newspaper in Taylor County has reported since the beginning of June that officials in St. Lucie and Levy Counties in Florida are interested in Taylor County's jail space.
Taylor County jail administrator Richard Johnson says the jail has recently received its accreditation and is ready for the extra inmates. As part of the deal with the two counties, the Taylor County Jail would not be responsible for any of the inmates' medical costs. They would only be responsible for their meals.
Richard says, "We're able to hold our cost down on the meals here. We contract with the local prison, they provide our food service here at the jail."
In the contract with Levi County, 20 inmates would be transported with Taylor County, given $22,000, and with St. Lucie County, 40 inmates would be transported with Taylor County receiving more than $40,000.
Daryll Gunter, Taylor County Commissioner, District 2, says, "The extra money would help tremendously with the sheriff's budget. He's always got more projects he would like to do, help the officers out and help the community with different new projects. That would be a windfall for him."
"As soon as their need arises they'll be contacting us, and it could be anytime," adds Richard.
CAPT Johnson went on to say that all of the money received goes directly into the county's general fund. In the past the Taylor County Jail had similar contracts with Polk and Orange Counties.