Las Animas County considers contract to take Pueblo County inmates

Las Animas County considers contract to take Pueblo County inmates

by Bill Knowles

TRINIDAD — The Las Animas County Commissioners heard from the Sheriff and the jail detention commander captain Mangino on the subject of receiving inmates from the Pueblo County Jail, up to 10 a day, to help relieve the stress of overcrowding.

Still up for negotiation is the cost of housing the inmates in Las Animas County, currently based on a $55 per day fee per prisoner. However, Las Animas County has budgeted $60 per day per prisoner, and the department of corrections pays about $53 per prisoner.

The numbers show that at $55 per day per prisoner from Pueblo would generate about $195,000 a year. But the commissioners began looking at a $60 a day charge. That additional $5 a day would generate an extra $19,500 a year. Or the county could increase the number of prisoners it takes in from Pueblo to 15 a day and possibly save on bulk food purchases, thus increasing the bottom line.

The commissioners voted 3-0 to table the discussion and any action until further negotiations move forward.

Another item up for action was the purchase of lockers for the justice center. The lockers are needed for the sheriff’s deputies to store and secure their side arms before they enter the jail. The old lockers are getting difficult to open and many of them are missing keys. Visitors also use lockers to secure personal items before entering jail to visit with inmates. The commission voted 3-0 to approve the expenditure. The 16 lockers will be purchased for around $1,100. In other action items, the commission approved with a 3-0 vote a renewal of the liquor license for the Spanish Peaks Inn and Tavern. They also approved a special events permit for Artocade with a 3-0 vote.

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A discussion regarding personnel policy with reference to overtime and compensation time for county employees was assigned to a work session that is scheduled for Aug. 14, at 9 am in the commission chambers at the courthouse. The current policy was enacted during the 2017 budget year when the county was working a 30-hour work week. Kim Chavez of Human Resources said that the policy needs to be either changed to reflect the current budget or done away with. The commission will vote on a resolution concerning the policy during the Aug. 21 meeting.

The commissioners also scheduled time to interview candidates for the county administrator position for Aug. 21 at 1 pm at the courthouse.

The commissioners went into executive session at 10:25 am.