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County OKs deal with prison
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Effingham County commissioners approved an agreement to continue to house inmates at the Effingham County Prison.
Commissioners, who begin their first meeting of the month Tuesday morning at 8:30, signed off on the deal at their May 20 meeting. The county will receive $20 an inmate for 250 inmates at the medium security prison.

Administrative assistant Adam Kobek said prison warden Ronald Spears and the state wardens’ council, along with the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia, were to meet to discuss getting the $20 per inmate fee raised.

The Effingham County Prison has space for 250 state prisoners and six county inmates. Commissioners had debated whether to close the prison but stepped back from that idea after Spears’ presentation to them in February.

As many as 160 inmates are sent to work details outside the prison every day, ranging from cleaning ditches along county roads to landscaping at county properties. Prison staff also prepares 23,000 meals each year for senior citizens and another 3,500 for the Feed a Kid program.

The savings to the county, in wages and benefits, from using inmate labor was $3.3 million, according to Spears’ February numbers.

Commissioners also approved the contract for maintenance and software with Gasboy for the county’s backyard fuel system.

“The good thing about it is it’s 24 hours,” county clerk Patrice Morris said, “and the only service station in Effingham County that’s open 24 hours is Parker’s in Guyton. If ambulances need to get fuel or a fire truck needs to get fuel, they can.”

Commissioners are expected to hold public hearings Tuesday, at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., on the fiscal year 2009 budget and millage rate.