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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Committee researching options for old jail lot

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A research committee has been formed by the Clay County Community Corrections Board to consider the possibilities of constructing a new building for the department once the old Clay County Jail is torn down. Jason Jacobs Photo. [Order this photo]
Officials are in the very early stages of changing up the look of a piece of county property.

A research committee, formed by the Clay County Community Corrections Board, met Thursday to discuss potential plans to construct new buildings on the lot where the old Clay County Jail currently sits, once it is torn down.

Since the Clay County Justice Center opened in 2006, there have been numerous discussions about tearing down the old jail, and the committee is in the preliminary stages of planning construction on two possible new buildings.

One of the buildings would contain the employees and operations of Clay County Community Corrections, while the other would serve as additional storage for evidence collected in investigations by the Clay County Sheriff's Department, along with an area designated for maintenance on county equipment.

Clay County Commissioner Charlie Brown informed the committee he has gathered a rough estimate on the cost of constructing the storage/maintenance building.

"I talked with Graber Post Buildings, and it would cost approximately $170,000 to construct a building that would satisfy ours and the sheriff's department's needs," he said.

Community Corrections Director Mary Brown said with its building needing to meet proper regulations to allow public access, the cost would be higher. She also provided a rough sketch she created of the potential building, which would take up approximately 2,900 square feet of space.

"Right now, we have about $160,000 available in our project income budget," she said. "However, the Indiana Department of Correction does not like it when we have more than $100,000 in project income."

Clay County Sheriff Mike Heaton said the lot the old jail currently sits on is approximately 120-feet wide and 200-feet long.

"Based on this drawing, the two buildings could be on the lot, including the 15 feet that must separate them," he said.

In discussing the potential cost of the Community Corrections building, the committee used an estimated price of $100 per square foot, meaning the total expense of the two buildings would approach $500,000.

For Thursday's meeting, the committee invited Economic Development Specialist Jim Coffenberry to inquire about the process of procuring funding for a public works project.

Coffenberry said since the Clay County Auditor manages grants for Community Corrections, the projects would most likely have to be bid out at one time, with each building being considered its own division.

"However, with Community Corrections being a state agency, we should also check to see if there is a separate set of procurement guidelines," he told the committee. "Also, the county would need to contact an architect about creating designs, which would help in setting full bid specifications."

Coffenberry added there is the potential the county could apply for funding through the United States Department of Agriculture's Community Facilities Program, which provides long-term loans and has a current interest rate of about 4.3 percent.

"This could help the county spread out the payments a little bit rather than completely draining funding in case you need it for immediate needs that may come up," he said.

Clay Circuit Court Judge Joe Trout said the basis of funding for Community Corrections could play a big part in paying for its building.

"That's the beauty of Community Corrections," he said. "The department is self-supporting and paid by the inmates in the program themselves as they serve the terms of their sentences."

It was agreed the next steps to be taken are to contact an architect, preferably local if possible, to create drawings, along with marking off where current utility lines are on the property and gather a more accurate rough estimate for the entire project in order to gauge if it is possible.

Coffenberry, who will contact the USDA office in Bloomfield, told the committee it should also provide the Phase 1 and 2 environmental assessments of the old jail and grounds to the architect, as it is an important part of completing this type of project.

Also participating in Thursday's meeting were Clay County Council member Brian Wyndham, Clay County Information Services Director Scott Hill and Attorney Jason Brown.

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i think that the building should be donated to the light house mission and the local food pantry . not only is it big enough for the 2 it is in a more central location for people to get to .the cells can be converted to rooms for the homeless and there would be much more room for everything . if you have not been to either place they are always jam packed with stuff and they could use the extra room .this would be a much better use than just a place to store the city's vast amount of crap .

-- Posted by huntingtime on Wed, Feb 23, 2011, at 10:29 PM

We spend thousands of dollars each year sending juvaniles out of county . It could be used for their detention. We could make money by housing other counties juveniles.

-- Posted by grays on Thu, Feb 24, 2011, at 8:27 AM

I agree with Huntingtime..not sure to whom the facility should go but this county truly needs a shelter for the homeless. People living in their cars in middle of winter parked in Walmart parking lot overnight is just unacceptable....and what of those who don't even have a car??

Then there is house of hope...If they don't get their building violations taken care of, there is a need in that area as well.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Thu, Feb 24, 2011, at 10:37 AM

I think that there are Asbestos and possibly Lead Paint Issues. Also the old jail probably does not meet current standards for that type of use.

-- Posted by BackHomeAgain on Thu, Feb 24, 2011, at 11:00 AM

I'm with SAYIT on this one .. my FIRST thought was "donut shop". How fitting! ; ) We could call it "Asbestos Donuts". Our motto? "Asbestos Donuts Don't Taste Like Our Donuts"! lol

-- Posted by Emmes on Thu, Feb 24, 2011, at 11:43 AM

Seems like an awful waste to tear this building down to build a pole barn. Undisturbed asbestos is'nt a problem like they once thought it was. It surely would make a good home for the health center, as is.

160,000 dollars saved up? Is that my tax money? I want it back!

-- Posted by reddevil on Thu, Feb 24, 2011, at 9:26 PM

I am more concerned as to why more forethought wasn't given to these needs when they built the new "justice center". Surely it couldn't have cost as much to design a larger building for the project as it will to come back just a few short years later and start an entirely new construction project. Also, why would the State DOJ not like it when we have been fiscally responsible with our county budget? If we can save thousands of dollars, we should do so, not just spend because we have an excess.

-- Posted by almostfootballfree on Fri, Feb 25, 2011, at 12:24 PM

correction, as I should have known at the time...there is no "justice", my post should have referenced the State D.O.C.

-- Posted by almostfootballfree on Fri, Feb 25, 2011, at 1:56 PM

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