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Smaligo Proposes New Formula for Calculating City of Tulsa's County Jail Fees


Saying he’s tired of ongoing jail cost negotiations with the City of Tulsa, Tulsa County Commissioner John Smaligo has another go at settling the matter.

Smaligo proposes multiplying the per capita cost for Broken Arrow to run its jail, $8.78, by Tulsa’s population to determine what the city should pay to use the county jail.

"$8.78 for every man, woman and child in the City of Tulsa comes to $3.5 million, which I think is absolutely reasonable. It's an apples-to-apples comparison," Smaligo said.

Commissioner Ron Peters represents the county in jail negotiations with the city and said he fully expects the city will pay appropriate costs.

"Well, if you look at appropriate costs, it says, 'fitting, right proper.' I don't view [Smaligo's proposal] to be appropriate costs, based on the numbers we've been looking at over the years," Peters said.

Peters said the City of Tulsa's average annual jail cost for the past four years has been around $690,000.

Smaligo’s fellow commissioners would not vote on his proposal Monday, and he said it will be on their agenda every week until a solution is reached.

"And if my plan is the only plan that's out there, they need to either give me feedback so that I can figure out how to win their vote or they need to come up with their own, and they haven't done that in three and a half years," Smaligo said.

Smaligo has offered a few proposals over the past three years of negotiations between the city and the county, including one that considered the number of bookings at the Broken Arrow jail and one that instituted a flat fee.