RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Willacy County commissioners are working on a new plan to reopen the detention facility; nearly 200 people lost their jobs due to the shutdown.

The facility was run by the private company Management and Training Corporation. Last week, the company’s contract ended after President Biden ordered the Justice Department to phase out contracts with private prison operators like MTC.   

County Judge Aurelio Guerra said officials are working with a finance team to reopen the facility. They want to negotiate an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) with the U.S. Marshals. 

“But before we can even do that negotiation part, we have to submit a first submission and in that first submission say we will run this facility for x amount of per diem to the US Marshals, but in order to arrive at that preliminary figure it takes a lot of research,” said Judge Guerra.  

In the meantime, the county is still trying to find out how to help the people who lost their jobs.

“Our primary reason that we are even entertaining this idea is because of the jobs that have been created and the jobs that will potentially be lost, said Guerra.

Guerra also said the facility also had an economic impact, however, he said despite their efforts there is no guarantee they will get help from the U.S. Marshals. 

 “It might be that it won’t work, it might be that the US Marshals won’t agree to the number we propose,” said Guerra.  

Lastly, Guerra said he hopes they can submit an IGA electronically to the U.S. Marshall in the next several weeks.