Western Brown’s Leto excels in Australia Rockets ready for 1st season in SBAAC Paddling, hiking activities available at Ohio State Parks SB Warriors get set to hit gridiron for 2nd year of varsity football Scotty W Johnson Glenna V Moertle Ricky L Hoffer Ruth E Ward David A Watson Janet L Dotson Vilvie S King Steven C Utter Cropper joins Fallis at Bethel-Tate Local kids find success in world of martial arts 13th annual Bronco 5K Run and Fitness Walk set for Aug. 5 Teams compete in memory of Randy Fulton Mike W Smith Roger Helton David A Borders Timothy E Argenbright Joseph W Sherrill Frances K Pedigo Cecil N Graham Sawyers charged in sex for heroin plot Group demands changes at ELSD Blanche Malblanc Pauline L Kirk Over 70 take part in 11th Joe Myers 5K Classic Lions Club 4th of July Festival brings outdoor fun to Ripley ODNR reminds visitors to swim safe this summer Changes in high school track and field/cross country rules include school issued and approved uniforms Betty L Philpott Judy B Williams Billie J Russell Remembering Ravye 25 attend volleyball camp in Fayetteville Western Brown hosts Pee Wee Football Camp Eugene L Baumann Kids enjoy a ‘Touch-a-Truck’ event in Mt. Orab New police chief takes over in Fayetteville BC Chamber moving forward on 2017 SummerFest Two killed in wrong way crash in Mt. Orab Jack Hamilton Charles L Glover Maxine M Stires Western Brown youth basketball camps a success Leto to represent Team USA in Australia Broncos hard at work in preparation for fall season Eastern approves bowling team Phyllis Ruth Lois A Manley Eddie L Carr Thomas L Carnahan Cameron Barkley Walter J McGee Gary J Graham George D Johnson Walter F Crawford Jr Charles E Meranda Jr Corbin testifies before Ohio Senate Five arrested in Hamersville drug bust Neil Diamond tribute band coming Hyde finds home at Midway Youngsters work to improve on hoop skills at Eastern basketball camps Sizer named All-District Honorable Mention Western Brown’s Barnes earns All-State, All-District honors Local players compete in SWOFCA Ron Woyan East/West All-Star Game 6th annual Ravye Williams Memorial 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament set for June 24 Clarence E Teal Rosie B Poe Monard C Boots James P Conrad James T Dinser Scott J Swearingen Eastern’s Farris earns award for top 2-point field percentage in Ohio Georgetown’s Seigla earns All-District honors OHSAA announces 2017 football regions and playoffs format Western Brown volleyball camps a success with over 100 in attendance Rigdon finishes high school running career with 10th place finish at state track and field championship meet Grace E Fite Women return to county jail as funds start to run low Georgetown Council takes action on vacant structures Veterans honored in Mt. Orab John McGee Timmy Burson Patricia A London Mary J Hall Kenneth R Behymer Western Brown’s Joe Sams commits to Marietta College WBHS to hold girls youth basketball camp Huseman signs with UC Clermont Day to continue baseball career on collegiate level at UC Clermont Western’s Pack signs with NKU WBHS to host youth boys basketball camp Eastern’s Rigdon, Hopkins are STATE BOUND James Ratliff Robert P Lesko Armstrong sentenced to twenty years on child porn possession charges Russellville hires new Village Clerk Russellville Council approves purchase of two ambulances

Three million dollar jail expansion planned

Brown County Sheriff Gordon Ellis discussed jail costs and other issues with the Brown County Criminal Justice Task Force on April 11.


By Wayne Gates – 

Brown County is preparing to spend three million dollars to expand the county jail.
After meeting for 14 months, the Brown County Criminal Justice Task Force voted to approve the plan on April 11.
“I think the committee looked at all the options and I think we’ve got a good plan,” said committee chairman Paul Hall.
Final approval by the Brown County Commissioners will be required for the project to move forward.
The project is will be done in three phases. Once fully complete, the jail will hold 110 prisoners, with 26 of them female. Brown County Sheriff Gordon Ellis said that another block of cells could be converted to female use if necessary for a total capacity of 38 women.
The county is now working with bond attorneys to secure the best possible financing source for the deal. Brown County Commissioner Barry Woodruff said that the county would explore payment options of ten, fifteen and twenty years on the loan.
Once a financing source is chosen, the project will be put out for bids by the county.
Phase one of the construction will involve a forty person dormitory style addition to the north end of the jail.  Woodruff said that this phase of the project should take about 14 months once the architect receives final approval. Assuming that happens fairly quickly, the dormitory could be open in the summer of 2018.
This new area would require one additional corrections officer per shift to supervise it.
With four corrections officer shifts in place for 24 hour coverage, that means that four additional corrections officers would have to be hired. That would increase annual labor costs at the jail by about $180,000 per year, according to Woodruff.
That cost, coupled with an estimated monthly loan payment of $25,000 would make the additional annual expense of running the jail approximately $480,000 per year.
However, at that rate, the county would actually be saving nearly $200,000 per year in expenses it currently pays to house prisoners in Butler and Clermont counties.
The March bill for inmate housing was $54,000. That rate tracks to a $648,000 cost on an annual basis.
Once the forty person addition is complete, the jail capacity would be at 104, with the expectation that housing prisoners outside the county would not be necessary.
“It’s cheaper to house a prisoner inside the county than outside the county. That’s the primary benefit. It also saves transportation and personnel costs,” said Ellis.
The forty person addition will be all male and for lower level and non violent offenders. This will open up additional cells in other areas of the jail to house more violent offenders.
The next step would be an addition to the sallyport area on the south side of the building. This addition would add an additional six cells when complete, including two padded isolation cells for inmates who are deemed to be a danger to themselves or others.
The area would also offer additional storage and other administrative areas designed to take care of a jail that is nearly doubling in capacity.
The third phase of the addition will be new offices constructed on both sides of the current main entrance to the jail. Once complete, the current offices would be converted to further storage, administrative and maintenance functions for the jail.
Woodruff said he was happy with the plan because it protects local taxpayers as much as possible.
“We are not going to the taxpayers for a levy, but we still have to deal with the problem and I don’t see it getting any better,” he said.
Brown County Commission President Daryll Gray agreed.
“I’m comfortable with three million dollars.  I don’t want to tie the county up for any more than that. It would have been nice to build it bigger, but we can’t afford to do that,” Gray said.
He added that he appreciated the hard work of everyone on the task force.
“We had people from different areas of the community involved in this. We looked at every option and finally decided that it would be best to expand the jail. I’m glad we finally have a plan.”

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