Prison contract boosts Putnam revenue
Wednesday, December 04, 2013 3:56 AM
OTTAWA - A contract approved last month between the Putnam County and Paulding County Commissioners will provide a steady, consistent stream of money for Putnam County's Adult Detention Center. Putnam County has agreed to house Paulding County prisoners for $250,000 annually through Dec. 31, 2015.
In the past, Putnam County charged Paulding County a set fee per night and per prisoner for housing out-of-county prisoners.
"The new contract was designed like some counties who have agreements with another county. That is a flat rate for so many beds, whether they are full or not," said Putnam County Commissioner John Love.
He said the figure is consistent and not based on the number of prisoners housed in Putnam County.
According to figures from the Putnam County Auditor's office, Paulding County paid Putnam County $239,865.94 to house prisoners at the Putnam County Adult Detention Center in 2012.
As of Nov. 19, 2013, Paulding County has paid $303,426. This included paying for boarding of prisoners through September. The average cost monthly for boarding Paulding County prisoners in Putnam County during 2013 has ranged from $20,025 to $36,171.
For Paulding County Sheriff Jason Landers, the agreement came down to dollars and cents.
Love said that earlier this year Sheriff Michael Chandler expressed concerns to the Putnam County Commissioners that Paulding County officials were considering housing their prisoners in another county, if they could save money.
Love said Putnam County officials wanted to keep this revenue stream. He also felt Putnam County had a good working relationship with Paulding County on housing prisoners.
Following discussions between Putnam and Paulding County officials, Commissioners Love and Travis Jerwers, along with Putnam County Sheriff Mike Chandler, met with the Paulding County Commissioners and their sheriff to work out a contract. This meeting was held in executive session.
At the conclusion of the session, an agreement was reached where Paulding County will pay Putnam County quarterly installments of $62,500 until the end of 2015.
"I'm happy with the deal," Love said. "It gives our sheriff a set revenue figure for the next two years and it gives Paulding County a budget number for expenses."
Commissioner Vince Schroeder said he voted no on the proposal because of the amount. "I still wanted to keep prisoners here but said I would only approve a contract for $300,000 or more."
Schroeder said he was basing that figure on the amount received by Putnam County from Paulding County during the first three quarters of 2013.
"The numbers are going up and I felt we should have asked for more in the contract," Schroeder said.
Paulding County was the only source of income for housing out-of-county prisoners in 2012. During 2013, Wood County, Van Wert County, Defiance County, Defiance Police Department and Wyandot County used the Putnam County Adult Detention Center to house their prisoners.
According to figures from the auditor's office, Putnam County received $40,821 as if Nov. 19, from these counties. This is in addition to the $303,426 paid by Paulding County.