Willacy County expected to close deal on prison sale

RAYMONDVILLE — The former tent-city prison apparently carries a price tag of $68 million.

Today, county commissioners and Management and Training Corp. are expected to close one of county’s biggest deals in years.

“It’s a great deal,” Commissioner Oscar DeLuna said this morning.

DeLuna said the county is selling the 53-acre facility for $68 million, the amount of debt owed on its bonds.

As part of the sale, an agreement also will pay the county $3 a day for every inmate held in the facility, DeLuna said.

DeLuna said the facility is expected to open with a 1,000-bed concrete housing unit.

On Tuesday, commissioners entered into the agreement after bond holders demanded payment of the $68 million debt.

The sale will put the property on the tax roles, generating $1.5 million to $2 million in annual tax revenue for the county’s taxing entities, including the city of Raymondville and its school district, County Judge Aurelio Guerra said after entering the agreement.

Guerra said the sale will bring the county $350,000 to $450,000 in annual property tax revenue.

MTC plans to create about 275 jobs, Guerra said.

For more on this story read Saturday’s Valley Morning Star.