Quay County Detention Center population declines

by Chelle Delaney: Quay County Sun

The census at the Quay County Detention Center has dropped to 855 in 2007 from 1,096 in 2006, according to a report presented at the Quay County Commission meeting on Friday.

The average daily population has also decreased to 44.30 in 2007 from 61 in the previous year, said Tony Elebario, administrator for the detention center.

Total number of days that prisoners were held was 16,168 in 2007 compared to 22,204 days in 2006, Elebario said.

The number of days a prisoner may be held at the center may vary, according to his or her sentence, and some prisoners may return several times in a year for different or repeat offenses, Elebario said.

The drop can be attributed to fewer jail sentences handed down by the Municipal Court, Elebario said.

The center has also gone to ankle monitoring for some prisoners which has reduced the center’s operating costs, Elebario said.

For example, the cost to monitor a juvenile prisoner for a day on a ankle bracelet is $9.80 compared to $85 per day if the person was incarcerated.

In other matters before the commission:
l Approved a $95,635 contract with Thyssenkrupp Elevator for repairs to the elevator at the Quay County Courthouse. Repairs to the elevator, which is currently inoperable, are expected to begin by mid-April or before.

l Approved the appointment of Tom Sidwell, Tom Dominguez, Roger Wakefield and Phillip Box to serve on an advisory board to the commission on matters concerning the reintroduction of the Mexican gray wolf.

l Approved a request by Dan C. Trigg Memorial Hospital to seek $2.2 million in funding as a Sole Community Provider, a federal designation for hospitals in rural areas.

l Reviewed a preliminary design by engineers for the Ute Lake Ranch development for a turn lane on Highway 54 onto Mine Canyon Road, the main road leading to the development.

l Re-elected Franklin McCasland to chair of the commission.

l Discussed a request by the Tucumcari Police Department to review its joint powers agreement to fund the consolidated dispatch center, at the city police station. The county’s agreement to pay half of the yearly $300,000 in operating costs expires this year.
Based on the JPA and its funding formula, the county would pay less in the next fiscal year.