Garza County judge seeks new vendor for Dalby corrections unit, with nearly 300 jobs on the line
LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Employees for the Dalby Correctional Unit in Garza County face an uncertain future after the Bureau of Prisons announced it will not continue its contract.
The BOP says they’ve found space to place inmates in their federally-owned facilities, so they no longer need private facilities like the one in Dalby.
The Bureau of Prisons has been a primary source of jobs in the area for nearly 24 years. The facility is owned by the county, but operated by Management Training Corporation, the largest employer in Garza County.
It employs around 290 people and the facility holds 1,600 federal inmates or people awaiting trial for federal charges.
While the county begins negotiating for a new vendor, the future for nearly 290 MTC employees remains uncertain.
“We have begun to seek another vendor, another customer to come in because yes, that facility will be empty, and those employees will be unemployed or be transferred to other facilities if we don’t come up with a new plan,” Judge Lee Norman said.
Norman says half the staff live in Post and are paid on a federal pay scale which is higher than state.
“MTC is bringing in some folks to help with transition...some kind of payout package. That was in our discussions. When I had those discussions yesterday, that was a very big concern. Other people may seek to find other employment as they can,” Judge Norman said.
Norman said the change will not affect property taxes for Garza County.
“When the facility was built, it was sold under a Public Facilities Corporation, which holds the bonds based upon the revenue it might derive from, in this case, the federal government, as bondholders understand that we have reserves to carry us...we are going to have to have another customer, but we will begin that process to work out the future,” Judge Norman said.
Currently, the contract is expected to expire the end of June. Nelson says he is seeking the support of state legislators, commissioners, and MTC to determine the future of the Dalby facility.
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