New jail subject of special session

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Clay County Commissioners continue to work toward completion of the new jail. Like any new construction, there are always decisions to make and expenditures to authorize.

At a special meeting Monday morning, the commissioners learned money may be difficult to come by. While Commissioner Daryl Andrews thought differently, Commissioner President David Parr said there may have to be a decision made between moving the two-way radio system from the old jail to the new site or hiring two additional dispatchers to man the radio.

Commissioners asked Chris Doty of Commercial Radio Service Inc. of Terre Haute to rewrite his proposal. The purpose will be to separate the work into more manageable units and avoid being legally bound to advertise bids for the project, which could delay opening the new jail.

A delay could cost taxpayers $150,000, said County Councilman Les Harding, who attended the meeting.

"We will have to start paying for the building, whether we are using it or not," Harding said.

Doty expects moving the tower will take about two days. It will have to be taken down with a crane, loaded on another vehicle and moved to the new site and installed at the new location with a crane. The tower is too large to use a crane to pick it up and move it to the new location, he said.

Adding more channels will enable the Sheriff's department to communicate directly with Brazil Police and the Brazil Fire Department.

One thing on which all the commissioners seemed to agree: Your telephone's 911 levy will about double next year to help finance the new system at the new jail, and other projects even though Doty plans to move and reuse as many elements as possible from the current system.

Doty said it typically takes six to eight weeks from the time radio equipment is ordered until it is delivered.

In other business,

- Commissioners approved the purchase of three new police cars for the sheriff's department, pending receipt of $60,000 from a vendor doing business with the county for the new jail. the money would come in the form of a signing bonus to the county.

- Commissioners ap-proved the purchase of color classification wrist bands for inmates. Each band will be colored according to the type of crime the inmate is charged with.

"Right now, we can't classify them the way we should," Sheriff Mike Heaton said. "We could have murderers and misdemeanors together."

When inmates are now classified, it is on the basis of compatibility, not the seriousness of their alleged crimes.

Inmates will also receive color-coded uniforms in four colors; one for women and three colors for other classifications.

- Commissioners agreed to purchase shelving for the new jail.

- Commissioners passed Resolution 3-2005, commiting $12,318.50 as a match for a Community Development Action Grant (CDAG), if the grant application is approved is approved by CDAG.

A decision should be made by November, said Jim Coffenberry of West Central Indiana Economic Development District Inc. West Central has been approved to be the technical advisor for the Clay County Redevelopment Commission.

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