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Oxford County agrees to offer to board inmates

by Rick Haverinen, Specal to the Sun Journal Aug. 5, 2016

SOUTH PARIS — Oxford County commissioners Wednesday received matching offers from two jails to board prisoners.

Sheriff Wayne Gallant and county Administrator Scott Cole told commissioners an agreement has been reached with Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset.

"The sheriff and (jail administrator) Capt. Ed Quinn and I went to Wiscasset last week, and we attended their (board) meeting," Cole said. "They had an executive session, came out and they voted to authorize their subcommittee to work with us and we came up with a deal."

Two Bridges said its facility will provide fixed-rate boarding for $600,000 from Sept. 1, (2016), to Aug. 31, 2017. The estimated number of inmates would be 25, but the number could vary at the same cost, and there would be no per diem charges.

After commissioners voted to further explore the proposal, Cumberland County Jail administrators sent a message Wednesday to "clarify their position," Cole said.

The message had almost identical terms as those discussed with the Wiscasset jail: $600,000, fixed, for one year with no per diem charges. The only difference was  the year would start retroactively on July 1, 2016, and end June 30, 2017.

Cumberland County officials in Portland notified Oxford County earlier this year that they would more than double the cost for boarding inmates, from $50 per day to $108 per day, starting July 1.

That notice sent Oxford County's administration scrambling to find a less expensive alternative.