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Hays inspectors say county jail kitchen passes tests
Wednesday, November 18, 2009 by Austin Monitor
Health inspectors from the City of
As part of their preparation for the appeal, county commissioners last week ordered health inspections of the jail’s kitchen by both the county and the City of
According to Conley, the inspection results prove that the jail kitchen does not have health and sanitary problems. The recent health inspection is the fifth the jail has passed in the last 12 months he said.
County Judge Elizabeth Sumter questioned whether “tainted food” was the reason the state commission ordered the kitchen closed at its Nov. 5 hearing, suggesting instead that it was because of “unsafe conditions” in the kitchen, including broken floor tiles that could pose a risk to people working in the kitchen.
County Attorney Mark Kennedy said that he followed up with both health inspectors on that specific issue and that they felt the kitchen was not an unsafe environment. Conley, who accompanied health inspectors last week, also disagreed with the idea that conditions in the kitchen pose a safety risk.
“If the commission thinks that kitchen facility fails because of a structural safety issue, I guarantee you could shut down every jail kitchen in the state of
The commissioners voted to authorize Kennedy to draft and submit a letter of appeal to the state commission this week, citing the recent inspections and other evidence that the county is taking definite measures to renovate the jail’s kitchen facilities.
In addition to the appeal, commissioners approved a higher quality, more expensive insulation to be used on the jail’s new roof, for which the county approved a $293,000 contract on Nov. 3.
According to representatives from Broaddus and Associates, the project costs were calculated with insulation that would last for about three years. But insulation with a higher “R-value”—a measure of thermal resistance used in the construction industry—that will last about 10 years will cost approximately $75,500 more.
The question of whether to spend more on insulation is related to the broader question of how long the county’s current jail facility will remain in use. Commissioners ultimately approved the additional costs for the improved insulation, which will not affect the project’s timeline. The replacement of the jail’s approximately 83,000-square-foot roof is due for completion in the spring.
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