Juvenile detention center advances

Construction to begin in early 2022 near county jail

Ector County commissioners Tuesday OK’d negotiating with an international architectural firm to build a new $25-million juvenile detention center near the law enforcement center in south Odessa on the west side of U.S. 385.

Purchasing Agent Lucy Soto said the evaluation of bids boiled down to HOK Architects, which has an office in Dallas, as the No.1 candidate, although the terms must now be negotiated.

Soto said after the 10 a.m. meeting that construction is projected to start early next year, moving the Ector County Youth Center from the north side at 1401 E. Yukon Road.

Center Director Kevin Mann told the commissioners last year and in February that the 45-year-old youth lockup had become dilapidated and would not be suitable to meet future needs.

In other business, the court withdrew a request by the sheriff’s office for $350,381 in equipment for the 27 Chevrolet Tahoes due for delivery next month because, Chief Deputy Eddie Mancha said, more time was needed to evaluate the plan.

Commissioners tabled a request by Dr. Babatunde Jinadu, the county’s chief medical officer, for him to be appointed a civil surgeon to perform medical examinations on legal immigrants seeking permanent residency or certain types of visas. Jinadu said immigrants now must consult private physicians for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services-mandated exams and that the county would receive the fees.

The court also:

>> Accepted a $105,000 donation from the recent “Bustin’ for Badges” clay pigeon-shooting benefit for the sheriff.

>> Declared surplus and approved the sale by auction of assets and other items.

>> OK’d paying Oncor Electric Delivery $1,597 for electrical connections on runways at Odessa Airport-Schleymeyer Field.

>> Approved a master software subscription and service agreement with Icon Software of Suwanee, Ga., for jury service.

>> Extended a contract with Summit Food Service for meals at the youth center.

>> Approved a contract with Garza County at Post to house Ector County inmates for $55 per day, not because it is expected to be needed but “just in case” an emergency arises, Mancha said.

>> Approved paying the Flock Safety Co. of Atlanta $55,000 for a year of software and hardware for automatic license plate detection for the sheriff’s office.

>> Approved a $34,000 line item budget transfer from autopsy services to transport expenses at the medical examiner’s office.

>> Increased the county’s expense line to $500,000 for jail medical and pharmaceutical costs with $400,000 to be paid by the county hospital district and $100,000 to be financed from the county’s general fund balance.