Brown County Commissioners vote against renewing lease of privately-run juvenile lockup

Three Brown County Commissioners rejected the Brown County Judge's proposal on Monday of renewing the lease of a privately-run juvenile detention center, with one commissioner even accusing the judge of misleading them.

Brown County Commissioners Joel Kelton, Wayne Shaw and Larry Traweek voted against renewing TrueCore Behavioral Solutions' lease at a facility owned by Brown County.

TrueCore operates a juvenile rehabilitation center inside of a facility owned by Brown County at 800 FM 3254 in Brownwood.

Brown County Judge Ray West said that TrueCore was agreeing to pay $8,000 a month for the next five years as a part of its lease agreement.

At issue among some commissioners were the terms of the original lease, as TrueCore has only been paying Brown County $1 per year in rent for the past five years.

However, Brown County Commissioner Gary Worley said that it is because the company paid for renovating the building.

"The total here is $854,000 plus that they put into our building," Worley said on Monday as he read old financial statements. "I don't think that guarantees them, but it gives them consideration for renewal."

However, presenting that fact to his fellow commissioners was not enough to secure a yes vote.

Traweek said that there has been untruthfulness circulating regarding the terms of the lease.

"I feel like there's been a lot of misinformation on probably both sides," Traweek said at the commissioners' court.

Shaw said that West was not being fully truthful about the renewal.

"I mean there's just been too many little things that haven't added up to me," Shaw said.

Kelton said that he took issue with Brown County paying for the insurance on the building over the last five years as opposed to TrueCore, but West said that the company has agreed to repay Brown County.

"They've already said they're going to reimburse us for any insurance that they haven't paid," West said.

Still, Kelton, Shaw and Traweek voted to put the building out for bids, while Worley and West voted against it.

In the meantime, TrueCore will stay in the facility on a month-to-month lease.

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