|Montgomery County Jail Meeting|
Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department and Montgomery County Board of Commissioners
Mr. Croft and Sheriff Sanders presented the Commissioners with a proposal that mimics the same business model used in Irwin County. Mr. Croft proposed to design, build, and manage the operations of the Montgomery County Jail / Detention Center at no cost to the County. The proposal includes making a $16 million investment to build a 256-bed jail. Also, Mr. Croft agreed to include offices in the new facility for the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department at no cost to the County.
Sheriff Clarence Sanders was excited about Mr. Croft’s proposal. Sheriff Sanders had this to say: “Since the SPLOST failed back in March, I immediately went to work to find a solution for our jail problem. I began meeting with Mr. Croft and his management team back in April in order to put a deal together for the Montgomery County Jail. After several meetings with Mr. Croft, we finally put a proposal together that would work for Montgomery County. I want to thank the Commissioners for their hard work. While I was negotiating with Mr. Croft, the Jail Committee was busy putting a $3,000,000.00 Rural Development Loan Application together with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Even though we don’t need the loan now, I sincerely appreciate the Commissioners efforts.”
Vice-Chairman and Jail Committee Chairman Brandon Braddy was relieved when he discovered that the County didn’t have to pursue the Rural Development Loan any longer. Commissioner Braddy stated, “The meeting with Mr. Croft can only be described as historic for Montgomery County. The Commissioners have been in a difficult position of trying to balance the concerns of the property taxpayers over operational costs of a new jail with our obligation to provide the County with the necessary facilities to carry out its constitutional responsibilities. The citizens and taxpayers of Montgomery County are very worthy of this opportunity. The facility Mr. Croft has proposed to build will have a lasting economic impact for Montgomery County.” Chairman Charles Truett says “We need a jail and there's an opportunity here to really save the county some substantial money which would be passed on to the property owners.”
The Montgomery County Commissioners had a special called meeting with Sheriff Sanders on Tuesday, August 14th to take action on the proposal. During the meeting, the Commissioners voted unanimously to accept Mr. Croft’s proposal for Municipal Corrections, LLC and Michael Croft Enterprises, Inc. to design, build, and manage the operations of the Montgomery County Detention Center also known as the Montgomery County Jail. Sheriff Clarence Sanders also officially accepted the proposal in a Letter of Commitment addressed to Mr. Croft that was signed jointly with the Commissioners.
After the meeting Sheriff Sanders stated, "They [Michael Croft Enterprises, Inc.] will run and operate this facility. They will pay water, sewage, utilities and pay taxes to the county on the building." The jail is expected to create 50 to 60 new jobs for Montgomery County. That's good news to Mount Vernon Mayor Joey Fountain, "It'll be good for the city too. We'll draw revenues from the water and sewer, help us expand, and maybe draw more business here."
The next step is to provide at least eight acres of land. One site in northwest Mount Vernon behind Oconee River Produce is city property and recently gained new water and sewer lines that would accommodate a facility of this size, according to Mayor Fountain.
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