Hall signs inmate contractPublished 11:41am Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Hartselle Mayor Don Hall has signed a contract with the Morgan County Commission and the Morgan County Sheriff’s Department to house city inmates at the Morgan County Jail and allow the city to close its jail.
The contract still must be approved by the Morgan County Commission, which will likely be on the agenda at its April 22 meeting.
“I’m hoping that we will have everything finalized by May 1,” Hall said.
The city will pay the county $23 per inmate per day to house the inmates. The city must also provide transportation for those inmates. The current jailer will likely be re-assigned to perform prisoner transport duties.
The contract also stipulates that the city must collect all bond payments for inmates and pay for inmates’ medical expenses while in the jail.
One other issue brought up during the discussion of closing the city jail included moving dispatching duties to Morgan County 911. Hall said he met with the dispatchers last week and heard their concerns.
However, Hall doesn’t anticipate that happening to the dispatchers in the near future.
“With the number of seven-digit calls that we get, I don’t think we can justify moving dispatching duties at this time,” Hall said. “They are also the face of the city to the general public 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”
Police Chief Ron Puckett said during a council meeting that the city receives more than 30,000 direct calls a year and only about 2,000 calls transferred from 911.
The move to close the jail means that the city will not have to replace a jailer who retired earlier this year. Combined with other insurance and prisoner related issues, the city could save as much as $42,000.