Brown County approves housing Coleman County inmates as construction on jail continues

COLEMAN COUNTY, Texas -- Brown County commissioners on Monday approved entering into an agreement with Coleman County to house some of its inmates as the county continues working on building a new $9.1 million facility.

Coleman County pays an average of $12,000 a month to counties around the Big Country, including Brown, to hold its inmates, according to a county official.

"It's going to be $45 a day. It's a typical contract," Brown County Sheriff Vance Hill told commissioners Monday about the agreement.

Hill said his jail had been housing Coleman's inmates since last September without a contract.

But Coleman County Judge Billy Bledsoe is hoping its new law enforcement center and jail will put an end to the high cost of placing inmates elsewhere.

Voters approved in last year's bond election the construction of a $9.1 million facility, which will be located on 965 North US Hwy 283.

"It'll reshape the way we do things," Judge Bledsoe said.

Property owners will be paying a $150 a year in taxes per every $100,000 home valuation over the next 25 years.

Coleman County's current jail is 128 years old and only holds nine inmates, according to Bledsoe. The new jail will have 48 jail beds.

Bledsoe said the cost for the new facility is justified.

"[There’s] extra cost associated with it as far as the maintenance and the operation of the facility. But Coleman County was spending quite a bit out of the county to house our inmates elsewhere," Bledsoe said.

The new LEC is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

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