The Duncan Banner

September 23, 2013

City could give something back for inmate labor

Mike Smith
The Duncan Banner

DUNCAN — The city of Duncan could soon spend $35,000 to repair a roof at an Oklahoma Department of Correction facility in Waurika in exchange for labor the city gets from inmates.

The Duncan City Council could approve the expenditure when it meets Tuesday night, and the way city officials see it, Duncan is coming out ahead.

The DOC currently provides Duncan with inmate labor to help maintain city parks and other property. According to City Manager Jim Frieda, each inmate worker saves Duncan about $35,000 a year for an annual savings of about $782,000.

“Accordingly, it is important to ensure the DOC is able to maintain the facility housing these individuals so that this beneficial program can continue,” Frieda said in a memo to the council.

The DOC is expanding its facility in Waurika so it can house more than 100 inmates. Duncan is currently drawing its inmate labor from the DOC facility in Waurika and one in Walters.

Under the contract to be considered Tuesday, the city will pay $35,000 for roof repairs and the DOC will provide Duncan with an inmate workforce of 28, all located in Waurika.

In other business, the council will consider:

- spending $113,175 to purchase new equipment for electricity substations.

- spending $24,600 for three hydrogen peroxide pumps for the water treatment plant.

- approving a request by the Duncan Area Economic Development Foundation to withdraw about $14,000 to reimburse Cobb Engineering for services done on the 2nd Street reconstruction project.