CADIZ – The Harrison County Sheriff’s Office is hoping to receive more than $5 million from the state of Ohio to fund the construction of a new and more modern prison.
Sheriff Joe Myers met with the Harrison County Board of Commissioners Wednesday to discuss a proposal he plans to submit to the state in hopes of receiving $5.2 million for the project. In the past eight to nine months, the estimated cost of the prison project has increased from $13 million to around $19.3 million.
“Since we received the last money from the governor’s office — $9.1 million — the prison project has increased by $5.2 million.” he said.
The county hopes to build a new prison on the former SSG George J. Conaway US Army Reserve property, located along East Market Street in Cádiz. The project involves the renovation of the current central building to house the sheriff’s office, while a new prison facility is built at the rear of the property. The new facility would have between 60 and 80 beds, allowing the county to house its own inmates. Last year, the county received $9.1 million from the state from funds provided by Ohio Senate Bill 310.
Myers said he worked with Gov. Mike DeWine’s office and the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction to submit a request for additional Ohio Senate Law 687 funding for the project.
Myers asked for the approval and signature of commissioners Amy Norris, Paul Coffland and Don Bethel to proceed with the motion, which he said was due by next Wednesday.
He said the document was also accompanied by a letter of support from the commissioners.
“Hopefully we’ll get some money” he said, adding that this wasn’t the only prison project hit by inflation, causing costs to rise. He said Coshocton County, which previously received $10.1 million from the funding source, doubled the cost of building a new facility.
The Commissioners signed the application to pursue the funding opportunity.
On other matters, the commissioners signed an agreement between Harrison and Jefferson counties to house some Harrison County prisoners at the Jefferson County Jail in Steubenville. As per the contract, the Harrison County Jail lacks the facility to house and support all of its prisoners, so it uses the surrounding county facilities to help. The county jail can only hold up to eight inmates.
Currently, the county has contracts with Jefferson, Monroe, Mahoning, Stark, and Carroll counties with costs ranging from $65 to $100 per day per inmate.
Coffland noted that the deal was an updated renewal deal between the two companies with an increase in housing costs.
The commissioners unanimously signed the Jefferson County contract and agreed to pay $95 per inmate per day for its inmates held at the Jefferson County Jail.
Bethel asked if any of the other facilities had increased their housing costs.
Myers replied “Not at this time.” He said Stark County charges $100 per inmate per day, Mahoning County charges $100, and Monroe County charges between $65 and $75, he believes. He did not disclose the Carroll County cost, but noted that there are very few out-of-county inmates left in his jail.
Myers said once the new Harrison County facility is complete, they expect to charge between $125 and $135 per inmate per day to accommodate inmates from other counties.
Towards the end of the meeting, District Examiner Allison Anderson made some announcements. She said she wanted to remind residents that they are in the second phase of the appraisal process, where a valuer goes around and inspects the properties.
Anderson said entries for the dog tag drawing contest were due Dec. 2. Color images can be downloaded from the examiner’s website. When complete, the pictures can be emailed to the Comptroller’s Office or dropped off at the Harrison County Courthouse or the Harrison County Kennel in Cadiz. The winners will be announced on December 16th.
Additionally, Anderson said they will be holding a farm use informational meeting for owners participating in or interested in the farm program on December 1 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Harrison Central press box.
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