Where do the two cities stand?

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the first part of a two-part series to help our readers get up to speed on the ongoing TDCJ project between the City of Fairfield and the City of Teague. The second part will be published next week.

An agreement between the Cities of Teague and Fairfield is being discussed during nearly every meeting either of the city governments have had for the past couple of months.

“We are asking for records and information,“ City of Teague Administrator, Theresa Prasil, said. “We are trying to get caught up on everything that has been going on with this facility for the last 28 years.”

In 1990, the Cities of Teague and Fairfield entered into a partnership, Interlocal Definitive Agreement (IDA), with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Institutional Division (TDCJ) and Freestone County to provide lands and utilities (water and wastewater treatment facility) for the purpose of TDCJ to build a minimum/medium security facility.

After completion, both cities held responsibilities regarding this facility. Over time, the City of Fairfield took over the operational and maintenance portion of the water and wastewater treatment facility while the City of Teague maintained the bond for the project.

Earlier this year, in April, Prasil, was contacted by the then City Attorney Linda Sjogren, attorney for Bojorquez Law Firm in Austin, requesting to address the council to present them with a new IDA for Teague to step out of a new bond the City of Fairfield wanted to take out.

In an article written in the Teague Chronicle April 26, then Fairfield City Administrator, Jeff Looney said, “I think what happened early on, Teague was supposed to share the responsibilities of the expenses, but it was so complicated that at some point in time, perhaps on a good handshake, Fairfield was told to handle all that, to deal with all that and make sure Teague gets the money to pay on the bond. If that documentation exists I have never seen it. I did not see it when I was City Administrator while here.

 

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