Daily jail fee to be voted on, contract talks still in the works

PULASKI COUNTY (KATV)-Cities using the Pulaski County Jail could start paying a per-day per inmate fee if they don't come up with a contract before January 1st. The current inter-governmental agreement expires August 1st.

Tuesday night, the Pulaski County Quorum Court gave preliminary approval for an emergency ordinance.

Under the ordinance the city would pay $245 dollars per inmate for the first day, then a smaller fee every day after, and if they don't come up with a contract before then, Maumelle is one city whose costs would double.

Little Rock, North Little Rock, Jacksonville, Sherwood and Maumelle have been presented with a contract to share operating costs of the Pulaski County Jail. While the current one doesn't expire until august 1st, a back-up plan has already been given preliminary approval.

"[It] will allow the county to charge the cities a per-day fee for inmates they place in this county jail, I'm hopeful that the county will never have to resort to enforcing that ordinance," said Pulaski County Sheriff Doc Holladay.

If the justices of the peace approve this emergency ordinance, cities would pay $245 per inmate for the first day, then an additional $44 every day after. For a city like Maumelle, who only paid $47,800 this year, the cost would double.

"If we go to the per diem rate it would be $97,800 so it would more than double what we're currently paying, under the proposal it would go up to a little over $51,000 dollars a year," said Maumelle Mayor Michael Watson.

The original proposal was a 10-year contract, but sources say Little Rock thought it was too long, a new contract was proposed this week for five years.

The justices of the peace are expected to make a final vote on the emergency ordinance on July 22nd.