San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

November 5th, 2009
State agency shuts down Hays County jail kitchen

STAFF REPORT

The Texas Commission on Jail Standards this morning ordered Hays County officials to close the jail’s kitchen by Nov. 20, citing continued unsanitary conditions.

During a surprise visit to the jail on Tuesday, the second in less than a month, state inspectors said they found mold and mildew in a walk-in cooler and food preparation areas. At the Thursday morning hearing in Austin, County Judge Elizabeth Sumter, flanked by Commissioners Will Conley, Debbie Gonzales Ingalsbe and Karen Ford, said local officials are moving aggressively to resolve problems that have caused the state agency to threaten a wholesale shutdown of the 362-bed facility.

TCJS Executive Director Adan Muñoz recommended the kitchen be closed today, then agreed to keep it opened for seven days. Jail Standards commissioners extended the grace period to two weeks.

Asked by a Jail Standards commissioner if two weeks is enough time to make stop-gap arrangements such as establishing a mobile kitchen on the jail grounds, Sheriff Tommy Ratliff said, “We’re going to have to live with it. We’re sure going to make it work.”

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