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BID TO BUILD CALIFORNIA CITY PRISON NIXED.

Byline: Jim Skeen Daily News Staff Writer

A bid by a Houston firm to build a 500-bed correctional facility in California City was rejected because it lacked a letter of credit for $5.5 million, but the firm can submit a new bid later this month, state officials said Monday.

Cornell Corrections was one of four companies rejected by the state Corrections Department for failing to submit a letter of credit for at least $5.5 million. The Corrections Department plans to conduct a second bid opening Friday, state officials said.

``They didn't meet our qualifications,'' said Corrections Department spokesman Bill Gengler. ``We expect they will be resubmitting.''

Laura Shol, Cornell's regional administrator, could not be reached for comment Monday.

Cornell Corrections submitted a proposal to the state Corrections Department to build a $10 million to $14 million facility on the north side of California City, along with proposals for facilities in Yuba, San Bernardino, Modoc and Merced counties.

Cornell officials have stated they will submit a new bid, City Manager Steve West said. The company will, however, have to resolve the letter of credit issue on its own.

``There will be no city financial commitment,'' West said.

Cornell Corrections is interested in California City because civic leaders have lobbied for state officials to build a prison there and because of the community's proximity to other state prisons.

One of the bid requirements is that the correctional facilities be within 100 miles of a state prison. California City is within 100 miles of two state prisons - one in Tehachapi and one in Lancaster.

If selected, Cornell Corrections would have to build the facility, and then the state would reimburse them for the cost. The state would enter into a 10-year agreement in which Cornell Corrections would receive money for each prisoner housed.

The state has five community correctional facilities being operated by private vendors and seven being run by cities or counties. Altogether the state has 53 contracts with private companies for correctional services, including work-furlough facilities.

Cornell Corrections runs a 200-inmate facility for women in Live Oak, a community north of Sacramento, and a 280-inmate facility for men in Baker. The company also runs a similar facility in Rhode Island.
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:May 14, 1996
Words:371
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