Latest jail committee will meet on Thursday

Published 1:43 pm Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The committee focusing on building a jail in Lawrence County will have its first meeting following Thursday’s county commission meeting. That meeting begins at 9:30 a.m.

“We will set a timetable and an objective,” commission president Les Boggs said of the first meeting.

Boggs set up the committee that so far has members county treasurer Stephen Burcham and Dr. Bill Dingus, executive director of the Lawrence Economic Development Corporation to explore the process of building a jail.

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“I feel that Lawrence County needs a jail in Lawrence County,” Boggs said. “That is the way I feel. The other (moving to Franklin Furnace) is a blessing to get us through some rough times. But I am talking years down the road. My goal is to do it without raising taxes.”

Right now, the county is working toward moving the county jail to the now closed Ohio River Valley Correctional Facility to provide a facility that will be in compliance with state regulations. The current jail has been cited for overcrowding during several state inspections.

The commission president wants to keep the committee to five members including members of the community and an individual with engineering and construction experience.

As the committee explores the process, specialists will be called in to give input.

“We will bring in professionals when we get to that point,” Boggs said. “We have to have hard numbers. We have to, besides coming up with an objective, find a cost and find a place for it. This is not an overnight process.”