Washington County Jail inmate meals contract approved

After previously requesting changes on some of the dates of a contract to provide meals to inmates at the Washington County Jail, the Washington County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the contract during its regular meeting Tuesday, April 2.

Washington County Sheriff Jared Schneider said the changes had been accepted as requested. One of the large changes is the contractor wanted a 7-cent per meal increase to be retroactive to Jan. 1. The supervisors had asked the increase be retroactive to March 21.

“It took quite a while to negotiate this contract,” Schneider said. “We had some issues with menus we had to work through. There were some personnel issues. Hopefully we can move forward with this contract and keep things running a little bit better.”

According to the contract. the cost for meals is going from $4.13 to $4.20 during the coming fiscal year and $4.28 the following fiscal year with the condition there be at least 25 inmates. The contractor also will provide special meals on holidays. Supervisor Abe Miller commented some counties pay as much as $8 per meal.

Washington County Attorney John Gish said the changes are appropriate and he recommended the contract.

Schneider also said part of the negotiation dealt with when the jail had fewer than 25 inmates. He said this is not a problem now, but if the county loses its contract inmates, it may become a problem. He said the contract inmates provide money to the county and help save on the cost of meals for Washington County inmates.