Supervisors discuss non-renewal of detention contract

Published 8:52 am Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Charlotte County supervisors recently discussed the non-renewal of a 20-year contract with the Lynchburg Detention Center in light of an alternative option at Piedmont Regional Jail.

The discussion came during the board’s Tuesday meeting.

The board voted to take the recommendation of local court services, which, according to County Administrator R.B. Clark, said they had no particular preference and the contract with Lynchburg Detention Center was not necessary.

The motion made by Supervisor Gary Walker additionally stipulated that if the Lynchburg Detention Center came back with another proposal, it could be taken into consideration.

“Twenty years ago we entered into a contract with Lynchburg Detention Facilities for use of detention beds,” Clark said.

He said at the time the contract was advised in case the local court systems needed a location to place an individual.

However, he said the existing contract would expire in June.

Clark said the new contract, if signed, would begin on July 1. “It was for $160,000 a year,” he said. “We did some research and we found out that the alternative is Piedmont.”

Clark said the Piedmont option does not require a commitment of funds if you don’t use the bed. Clark recommended to not renew the contract with Lynchburg Detention Center. “It’s not in our best interest, in my opinion, to execute this contract again,” Clark said.

The approximate price for the option is unknown.

While Clark said the Farmville option did not exist at the time when the 20-year deal was initially entered, he said “$160,000 for one bed is a little on the high side when you look at the market.”

Clark said the 20-year deal was most likely designed to amateurize the cost of the detention center over a 20-year period, however, the structure is currently undergoing a renovation process.

“We don’t need to amateurize the cost of the remodeling over the next 20 years, in my opinion,” he said.