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HACTC boarding numbers are promising

By Staff | Mar 19, 2010

Heart of America Correctional and Treatment Center officials have waited a long time to say they have a full house.

And for the past three months, the Rugby facility has been operating at, or very near, capacity. (See: HACTC operating near capacity, Page 1).

That’s good news, and another sign the facility is moving further away from its troubled beginnings.

The jail and treatment population at the Rugby facility is averaging 110 a day and is expected to remain stable into the foreseeable future. The facility received a big boost last year when it was able to secure a boarding contract with the Bureau of Indian Affairs. That meant an additional 37 beds filled, and it’s quite possible that contract could be extended. Boarding contracts also remain in place with other state and federal agencies as well as with local city and county governments.

A full house means the HACTC is meeting all of its expenditures and has some carryover revenue. And those dollars could be, one, used to pay off the loan agreement with the Rugby Area Job Development Authority sooner, or two, put into investments or savings to assure there is a cushion if, and when, inmate numbers drop off.

The first few years of the facility’s operation did not go so well due to less-than-anticipated boardings, which led to budget shortfalls and the default on the USDA loan.

However, the facility was given a second chance. The remaining debt was eventually written off and the Rugby JDA applied, and was approved, for a USDA loan to purchase the facility. The facility employs 33, and also houses a law enforcement center which provides offices for local and area law enforcement personnel.

The HACTC has a long way to go before it reaches financial stability but it’s on the right path, and that’s good news to report, for a change.

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