Thursday jail decision to be made

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 29, 2014

In one week Lawrence County residents will know if the jail operation will be moved to Franklin Furnace.

On Thursday Commission President Les Boggs and Commissioner Freddie Hayes Jr. met with Gary Mohr, director of the department of rehabilitation and corrections. At that meeting the commissioners were given a deadline of this Wednesday on deciding if the county will take over the now closed Ohio River Valley Juvenile Correctional Facility in Scioto County, Boggs said.

In March the DRC offered the facility to the county for its jail, which is currently being operated in non-compliance. However, some officials question if the county can afford the move. At the same time, the prospect of the state shutting down the jail because it is housing more inmates than it is allowed looms.

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At Tuesday’s work session the commission plans to discuss the possible move. Then on Thursday it will vote on the issue.

Commissioner Bill Pratt has stated that he favors the move but believes the decision should be unanimous and would support not moving if that were the decision of the other two commissioners.

Hayes has said he would support the move if the county could afford it. Boggs has remained publicly non-committal.

“I have a couple more pieces of the puzzle to put in,” Boggs said on Friday. “I have the big base of information. There are a few more that could make a difference. That would weigh on the decision. This is the toughest decision I have made since I have been commissioner.”

If the commissioners decide not to move the jail, the state may consider the bids received for the property in February — There were from Sula Limited of North Ridgeville for $267,000;  Richard Polacheck of Ironton for $485,000; and Ohio

Juvenile Academy and Corrections of Garfield Heights for $605,000.