Eugene M Jennings Jr Billy R Kilgore Sr Carol D Roberts Thelma L Gray Sheriff Ellis meets President Trump Quarter Auction to pay for fire engine restoration Upcoming Quarter Raffle, Oct. 14 to benefit PRC Man found dead in ditch Rev Alvin B Woodruff Jackson L Russell Lady Broncos bring home 11th SBAAC American Division title in 12 years Lady Rockets wrap up regular season Warriors rally for win Broncos make it two in a row Helen L Whalen Veterans saluted at the Brown County Fair Fayetteville cancels school after threat Tommy J Stamper Sue Day Broncos move closer to SBAAC American Division title Lady G-Men working hard, showing improvement Sports complex soon to open in Mt. Orab Week 6 football roundup H Ray Warnock Jennings faces multiple sex offenses Georgetown nears water system completion Bible Baptist Barbeque brings big crowd Linda Taylor Rene Sizemore-Dahlheimer Eugene Snider Eric Workman Gregory Terry Edith M Moore Eileen Womacks Michael C Jennings Janice K Brunner Cheer squads compete at ‘Little State Fair’ Truck, tractor pulls draw a crowd at Brown County Fair Week 5 football roundup Lady Broncos rise to 11-6 with win over Batavia Broncos buck Clinton-Massie, Goshen James H Boyd Warren A Stanley Jane R Ernst Darrell F Anderson James W Ball Jr June R Paul Robert Kattine Tony W Ratliff Carroll G Boothby Sawyers details revealed in court filing Varnau loses appeal ruling on blocked Goldson investigation Sardinia to hold town hall on street repair “Senior Playground” under roof, to open soon Janet R Whitt Jacqualine Attinger L Mae Spencer Battle between Broncos, G-Men ends in tie SB Warriors rout Peebles, 60-0 Lady Jays celebrate first victory Lady Rockets on a roll Rockets cruise to 4-0 Broncos celebrate homecoming Sininger wraps up another outstanding regular season of high school golf Joan E Stevens Esther R Kennedy Myrtle Mays Sheriff Ellis deploys to Florida Sending gifts from home ABCAP Entrepreneurship Seminar G-Men win streak hits 5 Runners compete at Vern Hawkins XC Invite Lady G-Men stand at 3-2-2 SHAC play begins for Ripley golfers Week 3 football roundup Jays rise to 5-2 with win over Williamsburg Audrey F Staten Inmate housing options narrow Opiate addiction strains Municipal Court Lillian E Cowdrey Catherine A Houk Warriors win Jim Neu XC Invite Week 2 football roundup Broncos unbeaten at 4-0 Lady Broncos compete in Bob Schul XC Invite Ronnie L Day Nettie F Lightner Wallace sentenced to life in prison Court filing links Anderson and Sawyers Man killed in Fatal Crash on US 52 Henry E Fields Anleah W Stamper Maxine M Garrett U.S. 68 reopens Drought ends for Lady Rockets G-Men rise to 3-1 with back-to-back victories Rockets cruise to 4-0 win over Jays Lady Broncos start off SBAAC American Division play with 3-2 win over Goshen Week one football roundup Fair board president Orville Whalen passes away

Considering their options

GEORGETOWN — The Brown County Commissioners have a lot on their minds these days.

In the past week, the commissioners have not only closed the Brown County Jail due to legal liabilities and unsafe working conditions, but have been forced to spend in excess of $1 million outside of their budget on housing inmates at the Brown County jail, ferrying the inmates back and forth for court hearings, and the renovation of the malfunctioning jail cells.

In addition, the commissioners have had to reject a couple of potential remedies from the Brown County Sheriff’s Office on ways to continue operating at least part of the jail, either due to legal advice from the county’s attorney or due to state mandates.

At the emergency meeting when the commissioners announced that they were emptying and closing the jail until further notice, members of the BCSO administration including Sheriff Dwayne Wenninger asked for potentially finding a way to use the jail’s holding cells, which use a key to lock the doors and are in good shape.

This week, the commissioners have rejected the BCSO’s request to use the holding cells, first on the grounds of legal liability, were someone to get injured, and secondly because it could violate state code.

One direction the commissioners are looking into is having the holding cells be used as part of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction’s temporary holding facility guidelines. The guidelines mandate that the facility can keep inmates in the cells for a maximum of six hours, that 20 feet of space is provided for each inmate, seating is required for each inmate, and that a member of the staff checks on the inmates once every 60 minutes, among other requirements.

According to the commissioners, the temporary holding cell could be used to house inmates either around when they have a court appearance or after they are arrested and booked, and then are awaiting transportation to Butler County’s Jail.

However, according to the commissioners, the BCSO is asking to use the holding cells to keep an inmate for 18 to 24 hours, which would not be in compliance with the temporary holding facility guidelines.

“If they want to expand that, it falls into the 12-hour and beyond facility, which we’re trying to fix now,” commissioner Barry Woodruff said.

In the meantime, the commissioners are busy contacting jail door manufacturing companies. Two of the companies that have been contacted are Southern Folger in San Antonio, Texas and Willo Product Co. Inc. out of Decatur, Ala.

“When we finish this process, we’re going to have four companies bidding,” Woodruff said.

Woodruff said that he was going to take his time in this process to make sure that the jail is completely safe.

“While (the jail is closed), we need to look that jail over A to Z, have inspectors come in, look it over properly, and say ‘can we spend this to upgrade it’, ‘how are we going to find the money’, and ‘can we do this in sections or are we going to do it all at once’,” Woodruff said.

The commissioners confirmed that they spend $7,600 per day to the BCSO, which is more than the $6,000 or so per day that the county is estimated to pay to house inmates at Butler County. Some of that payment goes to BCSO employees, but a large chunk of it goes to running the jail.

“I think we need to look at total cost, what we’re spending, and then look at this is what it’s going to take to make it a safe environment to work in,” Woodruff said.

In addition, Woodruff said that in a future jail there has to be money set aside for serious maintenance costs.

In terms of money, the commissioners are looking all around for it. They’re in contact with State Representative Doug Green and State Senator Joe Uecker to see if they can receive some funds from Columbus, and they’re also looking at grants from the state level.

Those grants though would be to build a regional jail, combining resources from multiple counties. While the commissioners acknowledged the challenges of pulling a feat like that off, Commissioner Tony Applegate estimated that a regional jail would save the county three or four million dollars in construction costs.

“If we’re going to spend $7 or $8 million to build a jail, but if we can build a three-county regional jail for $15 million, that’s $5 million per county,” Applegate estimated. “If the state reimburses us one-third of the costs, now we’re down instead of spending $7 or $8 million, we can spend $3.5 or $4 million, and the operation going forward would be a lot cheaper, including maintenance of the building, one kitchen, one administrative office, etc.”

The commissioners agreed to start looking into the possibilities of acquiring state grants for a regional jail, and if they get confirmation that it’s a possibility, they’d start lobbying Adams County and Highland County to see if the neighboring counties would warm to the idea of a regional jail.

The Brown County Commissioners are considering their options after having to close down the Brown County jail last week.
http://newsdemocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/web1_CommissionersNovember1-DanKarell-.jpgThe Brown County Commissioners are considering their options after having to close down the Brown County jail last week.
The Brown County Commissioners discuss future jail plans

By Daniel Karell

dkarell@civitasmedia.com

Reach Daniel Karell at 937-378-6161. Follow him on Twitter @GNDKarell

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