Jail move best option available

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 6, 2014

In Aesop’s fable of the grasshopper and the ant, the moral of the story is don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.

Unfortunately for Lawrence County, the jail situation was handled by “grasshoppers” for far too many years, leaving the “ants” scrambling at the 11th hour.

This week the Lawrence County Commissioners made the tough decision to move the jail to the former Ohio River Valley Juvenile Correctional Facility in Franklin Furnace.

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The move makes sense in more ways than one, but mostly, it makes “cents,” as in dollars and cents. All options — building a new jail, farming inmates to other jails or moving to the ORVJC — all come with a cost increase, but moving to the juvenile center is the best financial choice of the limited options.

Since the current jail can only house 27 inmates — a number allowed by a variance — moving to the ORVJC is the cheapest option, since shipping inmates to other facilities would cost the county more than $1.1 million more than its current jail budget.

It isn’t ideal the new facility is in Scioto County, but we agree the move is the correct one at this time, and we commend all those involved in the process for taking their time and gathering as much information as possible before making a decision.

Moving gives officials a chance to plan for a future facility here in Lawrence County.

Although the sitting commissioners did not create this problem, they were certainly stuck with it along with the state’s warning to comply or have the jail shut down.

This should be a lesson to all about the importance of planning for the future, especially when the fate of an entire county is involved.