Quorum court approves outside medical provider for county jail

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

By Scott Loftis


The Carroll County Quorum Court voted Thursday, April 2, to appropriate $150,000 for the county sheriff’s office to contract with an outside provider for medical service at the county jail.

The court’s regular April meeting had been scheduled for Monday, April 20, but County Judge Sam Barr called for an emergency meeting in lieu of the regular meeting.

The meeting was held at the county road department headquarters on Homestyle Drive in Berryville. County offices have been closed to the public because of concerns over COVID-19.

Justices of the Peace had previously decided to table the bids for medical service at the Carroll County Detention Center until the June meeting but decided to move forward Thursday on an agreement with Turn-Key Health. The company, based in Oklahoma City, submitted the low bid to provide medical services at the jail.

“The fact is if we tabled it that far, the bid would run out on it and I think there’s so many things going on in the county we need to get this worked on now,” said District 1 JP Jack Deaton.

Deaton said he had worked with Sheriff Jim Ross to find funding in the sheriff’s office budget and the county’s general fund to pay for the appropriation.

“We were able to come up with enough money for the $150,000 we need to do this at this time,” Deaton said.

The county will transfer $55,000 from the general fund and shift a total of $95,000 from various line items in the sheriff’s office budget.

In response to a question from District 3 JP Harrie Farrow, Ross said the bid “could very possibly” change if the court waited until June to approve it.

Prosecuting Attorney Tony Rogers told JPs that approving the bid was “totally appropriate.”

“I agree we should do this,” District 2 JP Chuck Olson said. “At this point next year, we can re-evaluate and see how it worked out. I think we need to do it.”

District 6 JP Craig Hicks said he had originally been in favor of tabling the issue but felt more comfortable after discussions with Ross and county treasurer Makita Williams.

JPs approved the appropriation without a dissenting vote.

In other business, the quorum court approved the first reading of an ordinance increasing the co-pay fees paid by inmates in the county jail for medical services including doctor and dental visits. Inmates who cannot pay the co-pay fee will still receive services.

JPs also approved a supplemental appropriation ordinance for the purchase of a new access control system for the county detention center.

The quorum court’s next regular meeting is scheduled for 5 p.m. Monday, May 18, at the Carroll County Eastern District Courthouse in Berryville.

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