Oxford County inks deal for boarding prisoners
Sun Journal Aug. 17, 2016
PARIS — Oxford County commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to accept an offer from Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset to house inmates for a year.
Commissioners ignored a last-minute pitch from Cumberland County Manager Peter Crichton, who attended the meeting, to use that county's jail in Portland.
Commissioner Steven Merrill of Norway criticized Cumberland County for not negotiating in good faith and made a motion to accept the Two Bridges proposal.
Crichton did not respond.
Cumberland County officials 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 an alternative. They contacted Two Bridges, which offered to 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 Aug. 3, offering a nearly identical proposal, Oxford County Administrator Scott Cole said at the time.
That irked Merrill, he said Tuesday.
"They more than doubled their daily rate for our prisoners ... and weren't willing to negotiate at all originally," Merrill said Tuesday evening. "Twin Bridges was willing to negotiate."
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