The Edmond Sun

December 5, 2012

Expansion continues in Langston area, Logan County Jail

James Coburn
The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — Logan County Sheriff Jim Bauman is working to construct a new pod at the county jail, adding 20 beds to hold federal prisoners. The new pod is expected to be built within four months, Bauman said.

Bauman said the county’s contract to house federal prisoners is being applied to pay off the .75 percent dedicated sales tax that the county approved in 2005 for the new jail that opened in 2007.

“That pays off in 2013 so that we have a way of being able to support the jail without a sales tax,” Bauman said. The money is earned and not a burden to taxpayers, he added.

Federal prisoners are farmed out throughout the country, Bauman said. The county is paid on a daily basis to house prisoners because the federal facilities are too crowded, Bauman said. Grady County also holds federal prisoners in the state, said Bauman, who took office in 2009.

The county currently has between 167 beds with the capability of running 187 beds for detainees. About 30 federal prisoners are presently held at the Logan County Jail, he said.

“We don’t have to segregate (detainees). They all follow the same guidelines,” Bauman said.

State Rep. Jason Murphey, R-Guthrie, said state offenders could be held at Logan County if the federal government would cut the supply of offenders.

“It’s not as lucrative as the feds. They pay twice the cost per prisoner,” Bauman said.

Bauman is also working toward a new substation for eastern Logan County as Langston University is building a new 5,000-square-foot police department by next summer, he said.

Langston University Police Chief Jonathan N. Hallmark has agreed to place the county substation at the new facility. Sheriff’s reports will be filed there just as they are filed at the Oak Cliff Fire Department substation.

“Our guys routinely go in there and do reports in that part of the county so they don’t have to go all the way to the Logan County Sheriff’s Office in Guthrie,” Bauman said.

The town of Langston is developing with new momentum, said newly elected State Rep. Jason Smalley, R-Dist. 32. The rural district takes in parts of Lincoln and eastern Logan counties. The town of Langston is one of the 16 municipalities in the district.

He believes there is potential for economic development in Langston. A new farmer’s market in Langston is adding to new commerce in the community, Smalley said.

“That sits right next to the new ball field and the ball field is absolutely gorgeous,” Smalley said. The T. G. Green Field is the new home for the Langston Lionesses softball team.

“I think a challenge for the town as well as the university is to come together, similar to what Stillwater and OSU have done,” Smalley said. “Get kids to come back and be entrepreneurs in the town.”

Langston’s population was 1,724 at the 2010 census, an increase of 3.2 percent from 1,670 at the 2000 census.

Langston has installed high-energy efficient street lighting along Sammie Davis Drive, according to the Langston Community Development Corporation (LCDC). Smalley pointed out the retro-fitting of the new Langston City Hall, which includes geo-thermal heating and air conditioning. New sidewalks have been built along Sammie Davis Drive, and there is a 63-acre new homes sub-division, according to LCDC.

Smalley hopes to improve ambulance service is his district which has relied on municipality tax. The town of Wellston recently lost its rural ambulance service after going $600,000 in debt, he said.

“We’d like to figure out how to incorporate a rural county ambulance base and put that with the emergency management response system and 911 system,” said Smalley, who is consulting with mayors and community leaders on the project. | 341-2121