The agreement for the housing of city inmates at the county jail was passed by the Meridian City Council on Tuesday.
But Meridian's chief administrative officer criticized the arrangement at the mayor's news conference.
"Now the sheriff will tell you that's a good deal," said Ken Storms. "And if property owners inside the city weren't already paying 58-percent of the expense of that thing it would be. $20 a day to house our prisoners would be a pretty good deal."
But sheriff Billy Sollie pointed out it was the city's choice.
"The city of Meridian said we don't want to stay in this business any longer. We believe it would be in our best interest to pay you to house our prisoners and get out of the business of holding prisoners. They're the ones who have said we'd rather pay than be obligated," said Sollie.
The city council approved a one-year renewal of the present $20 per day contract.