County makes deal to ease crowded jail

Tony Parra

The Roosevelt County Commission approved a temporary solution to jail overcrowding during Tuesday’s regular meeting.
The commission approved a joint agreement with the Dickens County detention center east of Lubbock to house some the Roosevelt County prisoners. The cost to Roosevelt County $38 per day, according to Roosevelt County Detention Center Administrator Jesse Luera said.
“The population totals are running high,” Luera said. “It’s not a permanent solution, it’s only temporary. Judges and law enforcement agents are working hard to handle the situation the best way they can.”
The Roosevelt County Detention Center 72 inmates and 58 beds, according to Luera.
They commission also voted unanimously to allocate $26,417 out of the Roosevelt County Sole Community Provider Fund to the Roosevelt General Hospital for indigent care.
The state and federal government provide matching funds, bringing the total to $103,842, County Commissioner Tom Clark said.
“It’s a good deal,” County Commissioner Tom Clark said. “If the funds are there, it’s a good deal to have it matched three to one and provided to the hospital.”
The commission also approved a speed limit of 25 mph at the Kilgore Estates Subdivision at the request of a resident.
“They drive so fast, they think it’s the Indy 500,” Christa Prewitt, a Kilgore Estates resident said. “It’s a residential area and there needs to be a sign posted.”
Commission members also voiced their opinions on two amendments by Gov. Bill Richardson.
One proposed amendment would transfer the state Department of Public Education to a Cabinet department, headed by a secretary of public education.
Another would send more money directly into classrooms and raise teacher salaries by drawing funds from the state’s Permanent Fund.
The constitutional election is Sept. 23.
“No one’s against education reform,” County Commission Chairman Chad Davis said. “Money is not the issue. We can’t just throw money at the problem. We spent all these years in the black (ink) and now all of sudden we are in the red. I am in favor of education reform, but I believe there are other ways to address the situation.”