MIAMI COUNTY — Miami County Sheriff Dave Duchak went over jail space needs with the Board of Miami County Commissioners on Thursday, discussing opening the fourth jail pod following the jail population “dramatically” increasing in recent months.
Duchak said that they have approximately 230 inmates incarcerated each day and there were seven beds left for men in the Incarceration Facility. He said that the influx of inmates was due to more felony arrests in recent months, who are then being held in the jail or the Incarceration Facility on bond.
“There’s a jail crisis in the state,” Duchak said.
Duchak discussed opening the fourth jail pod at the Incarceration Facility to see if the commissioners were still on board with pursuing opening that section, which would include hiring additional staffing for his department.
“We are at the budgeted staff for three pods and downtown,” Duchak said.
He said it has been like a “tight wire” trying to keep a commitment to housing Miami County’s inmates and trying to bring in revenue by renting space out to the U.S. Marshal Service and other counties in Ohio. He said that the U.S. Marshal Service houses approximately 11 inmates a month.
Duchak said that his department has not hired anybody yet for the fourth jail pod, and there would be eight positions they would need to fill there.
Commissioners Clerk Leigh Williams said that, according to previous budget discussions, there is a potential for a revenue of $1.2 million if the county could rent out all of the 60 beds in the fourth pod. Expenses would be approximately $700,000, which would include personnel costs, utilities, food, and so on. The county would have to rent out 38 beds in the fourth pod to break even, Williams said.
Commissioner Ted Mercer asked if the county’s daily rate for renting out bed space to outside agencies was high enough. The commissioners later asked for a cost analysis to see what other jails are charging.
Earlier in their meeting, the commissioners authorized a memorandum of agreement for jail services with Belmont County where the sheriff agreed to provide Belmont County up to five female bed and 10 male beds, as long as there is space available, at a rate of $55/day. Duchak noted that Miami County inmates would take precedence over inmates from outside agencies.
The commissioners indicated their support for pursuing opening the fourth pod. Commissioner Jack Evans said Duchak could move forward with hiring deputies to work in this area.
In other news:
The commissioners awarded a contract to Everett J. Prescott, Inc. of West Carrollton for the the county’s Automatic Meter Reading (AMR)/Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) Project Phase 1 for the amount of $354,573. This project will install automated meters for all of the county’s water and sewer customers.
The commissioners also set a public hearing date for two ditch maintenance assessments to take place on July 18 at 1:45 p.m.
The first one is for the Wauger Branch Ditch No. 818, located in Elizabeth and Bethel Townships. According to the staff report, “the current construction cost base of $44,862.73 would be insufficient to affect such repairs/replacements and a new estimated construction cost base $483,706.44 would be sufficient to affect such repaires/replacements and ensure the maintenance fund will be sufficient funded for the foreseeable future.”
The second one, which will also be held on July 18 at 1:45 p.m., is for the Cottingham Ditch No. 814, located in Lostcreek Township. The Miami County Engineer’s Office is seeking to increase the construction cost base of $10,815.11 to $203,057.30.
Miami County Engineer Paul Huelskamp explained that the county collects maintenance assessments on 10 percent of the cost to construct a ditch. They will be holding these public hearing in order to update the estimated construction costs for these ditches and collect additional assessments to go toward the maintenance of these ditches.
Affected residents will receive mailed notices about these public hearings. Approximately 62 parcels will be affected by the Wauger Branch Ditch, and approximately 42 parcels will be affected by the Cottingham Ditch. Some of those parcels also overlap both ditches.
Reach Sam Wildow at email@example.com. © 2019 Miami Valley Today, all rights reserved.