County Commissioners discuss jail phones, commissary change


The Gray County Commissioners Court met on Tuesday morning for a regularly-scheduled meeting.

During the meeting, the Commissioners received a presentation from CTC Commissary, who would like to take over the commissary and phone services for the Gray County Jail.

Representantives from CTC said they would like to replace the current equipment at the Jail with “modern equipment” and earn more back from the use of commissary and phone services.

“Currently you are earning 50 percent and we can get you 60 percent on the phones,” a representative with CTC, Grant Oakley, said. “We are going to offer you 20 percent on video.”

CTC will also provide a scanner that will better track for drugs coming into the Jail. CTC is also offering 20 percent on commissary as opposed to the current 10 percent. The use of the service will not cost the County any money.

“You start making money as soon as we come in,” Oakley said. “We start making our money about 18 months out.”

There are companies currently providing phone and commissary services, respectively. Switching to CTC will allow the service to become more stream-lined.

Gray County Jail Administrator Gracie Skinner said she is in favor of the move and sees it as a win-win.

“I think it would benefit the County and the Jail, as well,” Skinner said. “Especially when it comes to arraignment. It’s easier for the inmate to see the judge face-to-face when they have the video. Of course, the paperwork will have to be faxed over. But at least they have that contract.”

The Commissioners opted to table this agreement to check on some logistical notes in regards to contracts with the current providers. This will be addressed again at the next meeting.

The Commissioners ended the agenda portion of the meeting without taking any action concerning the emergency declaration on the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Covid has run it’s course through Gray County and we never, to my knowledge, ended up using any of the $180,000 we dedicated to the hospital,” County Judge Chris Porter said. “Our problem is, you just don’t know when and where the next variant is coming from. There are other counties who have let their disaster declaration expire. I’m not against that.”

Porter noted, that should the need arise, the Commissioners will reinstate the disaster declaration. Porter also noted that the knowledge and medical advancements in the last two years has better equipped medical staff for an outbreak of COVID-19.

Commissioner Logan Hudson asked if there were any funds tied to the dependence of Gray County having the disaster declaration in place.

“We’ve received our first traunche of the ARPA funds,” Porter said. “We are in agreement to receive our second traunche June 1. Counties who are not under an emergency declaration are receiving it.”

The Commissioners took no action to extend the declaration, ending it for Gray County.

The following items were also approved:

• Pay Bills as Approved by the County Auditor

• Request by Scott and Vance Vanderburg to Close a Portion of County Road 9

• Accept Gray County Sheriffs Office Racial Profiling Report.

  Extending Pampa Youth and Community Center Membership Program

• Enrollment with TAC for Cyber Security Training for All Employees with Access to Internet and Data Systems

• Participation in Opioid Settlements on the Texas Term Sheet

• Replacement of Employee in the Gray County Tax Assessor and Collector’s Office

• Removal of Connie Schindler from the Happy State Bank Account for the Tax Assessor and Collector’s Office

• Resolution for the Indigent Defense Grant from the State of Texas