LISBON — In an effort to alleviate overcrowding issues at the jail, Columbiana County Commissioners announced Wednesday that they had received approval for plans for a construction project from the Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections of the Ohio.
According to a letter from Chris Darlington, a project manager with the Bureau of Adult Detention, the county’s proposed project has received conditional approval for phases one through four.
Commissioner Mike Halleck noted that Columbiana County Jail continues to be in the top 10 in the state for inmate overcrowding. This project will be the second half of plans to renovate sections of the county jail.
According to Halleck, plans include remodeling a wing to house only inmates and alleviate having too many inmates in close proximity to each other.
The county jail was built to hold 200 people, which Halleck said she rarely holds. This will reconfigure some of the sleeping arrangements to help relieve inmates who sleep too close together. Designed by Howells and Baird, the project will be ready for launch in the coming weeks and will be paid for with American Rescue Plan Act money the county has received.
At Wednesday’s meeting, commissioners also voted to accept some of the recently approved changes to how ARPA money can be spent. Since the COVID-19 pandemic has caused losses of up to $10 million to the county 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 expenditures. The list now includes road construction and maintenance; health services; general government administration, personnel and facilities; environmental sanitation, security services such as police and fire, including the purchase of vehicles; cybersecurity and infrastructure construction.
Additionally, commissioners approved guidelines to increase the federal micro-purchase threshold for spending ARPA funds and establish guidelines for how the county will make purchases with the money. This includes how the county proposes projects, what documentation is needed, and the level of expenditure needed to perform a cost analysis.
In other subjects:
– Commissioners approved a proclamation naming April 28 Workers’ Memorial Day, which aims to recognize workers who have been injured, taken ill or died as a result of an accident in the workplace.
– The county is preparing for the annual electronics collection event, scheduled for May 12, 19 and 26. Halleck said the current plan is to limit each vehicle to a maximum of three televisions. Those wishing to participate should call 330-596-5000 for an appointment. More information will be released after Monday’s Carroll-Columbiana-Harrison Solid Waste District meeting.