The Nye County Commission has approved an agreement with Immigration and Customs Enforcement to house ICE detainees at the Nye County Detention Center in Pahrump.
The contract also will allow the county to reopen the Tonopah Jail, which was shut down in March 2015 as the result of budget deficits.
The decision to move forward with the ICE contract followed a lengthy discussion between commissioners, Nye County Sheriff Sharon Wehrly and Nye County Sheriff’s Lt. David Boruchowitz.
Although there were some concerns expressed about the multimillion-dollar deal, the board eventually approved the deal by a 4-1 vote, with Commissioner Donna Cox casting the “no” vote.
Approval was for phase one, which includes a single year of detainee housing and transport. The sheriff’s office is required to return to the commission next year if the contract proves successful and the office makes the decision to request its continuation.
According to the presentation at the special commission meeting on May 10, the contract will necessitate an initial outlay of cash on the county’s part and is anticipated only to break even in the first year. But officials hope it will be a money-maker thereafter if the deal is extended.
The first ICE inmates are expected at the Pahrump detention center on Aug. 1.