City Council: Prison Water & Sewer Rates, Collab. With Police Jury

The City Council of Winnfield called a special meeting on Thursday, January 30, to discuss the prison facility water rates, introduce two amendments, and discuss a possible collaboration with the Winn Parish Police Jury to clean up adjudicated properties. Three of five councilpersons were present, with those absent including LaWanda Holden (District 1) and Gerald Hamms (District 2).

At the request of Sheriff Jordan, the council looked at what the city charges to supply water to the Winn Detention Center and compared those numbers with other correctional facilities. Councilperson Sarah Junkin said what they found out “is that our rates are actually overall less than those that have an average usage of over 75-80,000 gallons.” Junkin asserted that they looked at average usage in Jackson, Natchitoches, and Winn Parish jails, looking at their bills as if they were the billing company for all three. Junkin posited that Jackson and Natchitoches jails would save a lot of money if the City of Winnfield supplied their water. Junkin explained that the Grant Parish facility was not compared because their usage is 13-15,000 gallons a month, not 200,000 or more.

Apparently the prison started off at a regular commercial rate ($30 for the initial 4,000 gallons, $2.50 per 1,000 gallons over) until the council was prepared to put it in a rate class of its own. When the prison was placed in its own rate class, the city started charging an initial $2,000. Addressing this adjustment, Junkin said, “We gave [Sheriff Jordan] a rate that we thought was fair. He does not think it is necessarily fair.”

 

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