LISBON — Aimed to alleviate the prison’s overcrowding problems, Columbiana County officials announced Wednesday that they have received approval from the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction for plans for a construction project.
According to a letter from Chris Darlington, a project manager with the Bureau of Adult Detention, the district’s proposed project has received conditional approval for phases one through four.
Commissioner Mike Halleck noted that the Columbiana County jail continues to rank in the state’s top 10 for inmate overcrowding. This project will be the second half of plans to remodel portions of the county jail.
According to Halleck, the plans include converting a wing to accommodate only female inmates and to avoid having too many inmates in close proximity to each other.
The county jail was built to hold 200 people, which Halleck said rarely lasts. This will reconfigure some of the sleeping arrangements to prevent occupants from sleeping too close together. The project, designed by Howells and Baird, will be up for bidding in the next few weeks and will be paid for with American Rescue Plan Act funds received by the district.
During Wednesday’s session, the commissioners also voted to accept some of the recently approved changes to the use of ARPA funds. Because the COVID-19 pandemic has caused losses of up to $10 million in the county’s treasury, $10 million of the money can be used to fund government services.
This list of government services now includes items that were not on the original list of approved expenditure. The list now includes road construction and maintenance; health services; general government administration, personnel and facilities; environmental remediation, security services such as police and fire brigade including the purchase of vehicles; Cyber security and building infrastructure.
In addition, the commissioners approved guidelines to raise the federal micro-purchase threshold when spending ARPA funds and to establish guidelines for how the county will use the money to make purchases. This includes how the district advertises projects and what documentation is required and at what level of expenditure a cost analysis is required.
In other matters:
– The commissioners approved a proclamation designating April 28 as Workers Memorial Day, to honor workers who have been injured, ill or died as a result of an industrial accident.
– The county is gearing up for the annual electronics collection event scheduled for May 12, 19 and 26. Halleck said the plan currently is to limit each vehicle to no more than three TVs. Those wishing to attend must call 330-596-5000 to schedule an appointment. More information will be released after the Carroll-Columbiana-Harrison Solid Waste District meeting on Monday.