Burnet County increases out-of-county inmate housing rate

By Lew K. Cohn
Managing Editor

Other counties will be paying more starting Oct. 1 to house their inmates at the Burnet County Jail.

Burnet County commissioners voted unanimously to increase the contract rate to house non-federal prisoners from $40 to $45 per inmate per day. Sheriff Calvin Boyd and County Auditor Karin Smith told commissioners the rate change was being requested to keep up with increasing jail costs.

The Burnet County Jail can house up to 587 offenders and serves as a holding facility (more than 72 hours) for U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement as well as for the U.S. Marshal's Office, with the federal government paying about $59 per inmate per day.

Burnet County also contracts with a number of surrounding counties to house their county inmates. When the Burnet County jail has between 375 to 400 contract inmates at the jail, the county reaches a point where it is essentially housing its own inmates at no additional out-of-pocket cost.

In other action, Burnet County commissioners also voted unanimously to pay for right-of-way acquisition to improve public safety at the intersection of County Road 266 and Texas 29 and at the intersection of County Road 330 and 335.

Precinct 2 Commissioner Damon Beierle said the county will use $13,700 from 2019 road bond proceeds to pay for 0.16 acres, or about 6,850 square feet, of right-of-way at the intersection at a cost of $2 per square foot.

The intersection, located just west of the Burnet-Williamson county line, forces drivers turning onto CR 266 from eastbound Texas 29 to make an unsafe, looping turn across traffic and it has been the site of a number of accidents, including at least one fatality. . .

Find the rest of this story in the Friday, May 17 issue of The Highlander, the newspaper of record for the highland Lakes. To offer a comment or news tip, email lew@highlandernews.com.

 

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