Brown County Commissioners rejected one bid Monday and considered another one — but had too many questions to take any action — that would allow a security company to lease a portion of the now-closed Unit 2 of the Ron Jackson state school and transform it into a post-adjudication juvenile lockup facility.
Brown County's Juvenile Justice Center is housed within Unit 2.
Commissioners followed County Judge Ray West's recommendation to reject a bid from Phoenix, Ariz.-based Right of Passage because the company indicated it would not lease a portion of Unit 2 — which was conveyed to the county last year — unless it could also take over the operation of Unit 1, which the Texas Juvenile Justice Department operates as a state school for girls.
West recommended that commissioners reject the Right of Passage bid because of the company's requirement that it take over the Unit 1 operation — a an action the county has absolutely no control over, West said.
Commissioners spent much more time discussing the bid of Tampa, Fla.-based G4S for an initial five-year lease. Commissioners said they will re-agenda the item for Monday after discussing several issues ranging from typos in the G4S bid to the liability the county would face should the county terminate the lease early.
The county currently uses a portion of the former Unit 2 building to house the juvenile probation department and pre-adjudication holding cells for about eight juveniles, West said. He said the pre-adjudication juveniles can be held 48 to 72 hours depending on when they are brought in and the circumstances.
G4S would provide mental health and substance abuse services, based on its bid. The company would make Phase I improvements concluding the construction of new offices; Phase II improvements including the cleaning and repair of two wings with a capacity of 46 juveniles; and Phase III improvements including the cleaning and repair of the remaining three wings with a capacity of 69 juveniles, making a total capacity of 115 juveniles, West said.
Last year, Texas Juvenile Justice Department commissioners approved the conveyance of Unit 2 of the Brownwood state school and its surrounding 36 acres to Brown County.
In other business Monday, commissioners:
• Declined to reinstate an outdoor burn ban but urged caution when burning due to high winds.
• Approved paying Southern Plains of Arlington for the repair of a generator at the Juvenile Justice Center.
• Heard a request from Emil Luedecke of the Brown County Livestock Producers Association to increase the subsidy the county pays to the AgriLife Extension Service to keep a trapper in Brown County. West said the county would have to try to find the money if it is to pay an increase and asked to see a report on the budget and expenses related to the trapper.