Brown County Chamber of Commerce gets update on jail project

By Martha Jacob

The Brown County Chamber of Commerce met April 21 at Southern Hills Career and Technical Center for its monthly meeting with over 50 members in attendance.
Opening the meeting were comments from president of the chamber, Brian Elliott.
An Economic Development Committee report was given by chair, Brian Elliott.
“There is a lot going on in Brown County right now,” Elliott said, “We’ve got the Mt. Orab Ford and the auto mall moving forward, and O-Reilly’s Auto Parts in Mt. Orab is now under construction.
“There’s also a new dentist office in Mt. Orab and a new Health Source building is coming to Georgetown. It will be located between CVS and Burger King.”
Elliott also said that there are currently three new 1st Stops being built in Aberdeen, Ripley and Georgetown. He said that the Ripley 1st Stop would create more jobs for the area.
“Fancy’s Pizza has been purchased by an new owner and is now called JC’s Pizza,” Elliott said. “A lot of work is being done on St. Rt. 32, from Mt. Orab all the way to 275. ODOT plans on making that strip a ‘no stop’ area of 32. Not a single traffic light will be in place, it will be come a straight shot from here to Eastgate.”
Elliott added that a new children’s hospital is also in the works for the Eastgate area.
Brown County Commissioner Barry Woodruff updated the chamber on the ongoing jail project.
“The jail project is a multi-phase project,” Commissioner Woodruff began, “You don’t just switch out locks on an incarceration center. All the data has to be documented, so you can’t just run down to the hardware store and get new locks.”
“Then we discovered that the HVAC which is located in the attic, and is in three pieces, can’t be repaired. We brought in a commercially licensed guy who came down out of the attic after four hours and said… ‘I’m a tax payer here, don’t spend any money on that unit, replace it.’
“That was a couple weeks ago that they started on a new unit so that has given us the opportunity to do some painting and spruce things up while their working on it.”
Woodruff said that the county still have about 70 inmates at Butler County jail, which has been ongoing.
“We will continue to keep the female inmates out of county,” Woodruff said. “We will probably become an all male facility when we reopen.”
Later in the meeting Elliott explained that the Spring Dinner usually sponsored by the chamber in May had been postponed. He said the event would be rescheduled.
He reminded chamber members that booth applications were still available for this year’s Summerfest and that Leadercast at Southern State Community College, Mt. Orab campus on May 6.
The Coalition for a Drug Free Brown County will meet on Tuesday, May 9 instead of the first Monday of the month because of a conflict with an Opiate Conference in Columbus on May 8.
Jim Ludwick from Chatfield College spoke briefly about finding organizations or agency that could qualify for a substantial Healthier Buckeye Council Grant.
Ludwick said that the grant is a 65 page document which had to be hand delivered to Columbus on May 3. He said he plans on submitting at least 1 application from Brown County.
The next Brown County Chamber of Commerce meeting is set for Thursday, May 19 at 8 a.m. at the new Child Focus building in Mt. Orab. (the old Cole’s Furniture building.)