Sheriff eyes new service for jail meals

Published 8:00 pm Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Lincoln County Sheriff Steve Rushing Monday suggested contracting out meal service at the county jail as a way to save several hundred dollars a month in operations costs.

     Rushing spoke to supervisors during their Monday meeting about his idea.     The sheriff said he will speak with Valley Food Services about taking over supplying the food, employees and putting together the meals. Sheriff’s office equipment would still be used.

     Rushing stressed the move is still in a planning phase and is not final.

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     Currently, Rushing has two employees working in the cafeteria, one full time and one part time. He said if Valley were hired to run the cafeteria, the part-time position could be eliminated and the full-time one moved to another part of his department.

     Rushing said it has been difficult to keep workers for the part-time position.

     “I haven’t been able to keep that position filled since it works weekends,” he said.

     The changes would save around $500 a month, plus the salary of the part-time position of $15,000, according to Rushing.

     “We’d basically just be streaming the way we do it,” said Rushing. “If you can save several hundred dollars per month plus the management of it, then that’s good.”

     Rushing said Valley would charge between $1.60 and $1.86 per inmate per meal, with more inmates meaning it would be near the lower end of the scale.


     Supervisors also heard a report from Ryan Holmes of Dungan Engineering about the progress of debris collection from Hurricane Isaac in Lincoln County.

     Holmes said the first round of collection should wrap up by the end of the week, with the second pass occurring early next week.

     This means people with any remaining debris needs to place it by the right of way as soon as possible so it may be collected. Supervisors should be informed of any remaining debris that needs to be picked up on the second pass.

     District Four Supervisor Eddie Brown was direct when talking about remaining debris.

     “If anyone knows of any debris that was missed in District Four, call my office and we’ll be glad to get it picked up,” he said. “Just let us know.”

     As of the end of the day Saturday, contractors with Young’s General Contracting had amassed 19,771 cubic yards of debris at a site in Linbrook Industrial Park. The initial estimate for total debris to be collected was 20,000, so the total will be above what was initially forecast.

     “We should finish with between 23,000 and 25,000 cubic yards,” said Holmes. “The fact that it was a little more than we expected did not surprise us.”

     So far work has been going on for 23 days. Holmes said some days, such as Monday, were not workdays due to rain.

     “By the end of next week, work should be complete,” said Holmes.