Inmate health care to be discussed at county meeting

By Argen Duncan: PNT senior writer

Roosevelt County has negotiated a lower cost for detention center inmate health care and the county commission is set to vote Tuesday on whether to accept proposals.

At the July 7 meeting, the commission authorized County Manager Charlene Hardin to negotiate with Correctional Health Care Management.

The company submitted the top-scoring proposal for Roosevelt County Detention Center inmate health care to bring down the cost of the services.

Hardin said the county now has two options from the company.

One agreement would provide a nurse on site 20 hours a week and a doctor on site once a week and on call for $107,000 a year.

The other would have those services and add a mental health practitioner visiting the jail for eight hours every other week for $125,000 a year.

“We’re required to see to all their medical needs,” Hardin said of the inmates.

The county must provide physical, mental and dental care, she said. Dental care is already in place.

The commission previously rejected a proposal of $232,000 for health care, saying the cost was too high, and instructed Hardin to issue another request for proposals.

In another matter, at Commissioner Gene Creighton’s request, the commission is considering a removal of the county’s current burn restriction, which requires people notify the police and fire dispatch office in advance of controlled fires.

“It’ll just lift so you don’t have to call in to burn,” Creighton said.

On another subject, Hardin said she wanted to talk to the commissioners about finishing the landscaping around the courthouse now instead of looking for grant money.

The agenda also includes votes on the adoption of the next fiscal year’s budget and a resolution opposing a state regulation that would allow public school students to opt out of saying the Pledge of Allegiance.