December 19, 2014

County searching for inmate meal provider

By Tim Barnum|Staff writer
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ARENAC COUNTY — The closing of Standish Maximum Correctional Facility, which provided three meals a day to the Arenac County Jail, has the Arenac County Sheriff’s Department and commissioners scrambling to quickly find an entity to provide meals for inmates of the county jail.

According to sheriff James Mosciski, the prison was providing meals since 2005 for $3.22 per inmate per day.

“I don’t expect the price to be real close,” said Arenac County Board of Commissioners Chairman Raymond Daniels. “I know he (Mosciski) has a meeting set up with the hospital (St. Mary’s of Michigan Standish Hospital). … The hospital would seem like the likely place because they cook everyday.”

Mosciski says the hospital meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, June 23 and would be a more frugal option than firing up the currently out-of-use jail kitchen, which would be the case if canteen services he has met with were awarded as the food service providers for the jail.

“The worst hard hit would be if we have to go back to using our kitchen,” the sheriff said, adding personnel would have to be hired, utility costs would be incurred and food orders would have to be purchased. “If we go back to serving that way, it’s going to be very, very costly.”

Daniels added the kitchen would also have to be inspected to ensure it’s up to current state codes.

And if the county has to handle the meals for inmates once again, it’ll also create more administrative work for Mosciski and Undersheriff Don McIntyre, since Mosciski says the administrators would have to work with a cook in creating jail menus, create a menu plan with a dietician and order food.

Bid requests have been published by the county commissioners and the deadline for bid submission is June 30. The new provider would take over duties on July 17, according to a notice filed by the county.

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